She spoke to us about her role as she prepares to meet the new recruits on the Healthwatch Greenwich Board.
"I have been working in the NHS for over 30 years, so my role in the board is to advise on health-related and management issues that we come across”, Lola says. She tries to remember how she first joined the Board and Healthwatch Greenwich: “It was in an event by Link Greenwich when I first had the interest. I wanted to give back to the community, so I was looking for volunteer roles in Royal Greenwich. I came across a leaflet that explained what the organisation does. I was very keen to do something in healthcare since that is my passion and my professional background. This role was a great fit.”
(Link Greenwich later became Healthwatch Greenwich).
Lola told us that a board member should have many essential skills, such as business management, critical thinking, interpersonal, creativity, and problem-solving skills. However, one stood out as an essential skill to have. “The most important skill for a Board Member to have is to be a good negotiator. You have to work with different people and understand how to collaborate effectively with people from various backgrounds”.
Working with people who have different knowledge and perspectives is one thing that Lola enjoys the most about her role. “I really enjoy learning from others. I know a lot about how the public sector works, but then I meet someone who knows how a cancer charity works. I pick up many new skills and clues about what to do when new things come my way. Working in the Healthwatch Greenwich Board is a good opportunity to develop strategically, and that is something that I really enjoy.”
“Healthwatch Greenwich is a lifeline for many people in the community.” Lola continues. “I think Healthwatch gives a voice to the voiceless. If the work we do were taken away, many people would lose their access to healthcare – not just people seeing doctors, but also access to social care services.”
What is in store for Lola in the next few months? “The thing I am looking forward to the most is graduating. I started an MBA two years ago, and I am just getting ready to hand in my final submission. It has been a long time, and now I want to take a nice break from my studies!”