Working with us: Lynne Gilchrist, Chair of the Board at Healthwatch Greenwich

Lynne spoke to us about her role as she prepares to welcome new members to the Healthwatch Greenwich Board.

Lynne joined Healthwatch Greenwich as a board member in 2017. She was asked by her fellow board members to step into the role of the Chair six months later. Four years on, Lynne spoke to us about her role as she prepares to welcome new members to the Healthwatch Greenwich Board.  

“To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Healthwatch Greenwich before I joined”, says Lynne. She explains that she came across the team at the foyer of her gym and signed up for the newsletter. “I liked the idea of volunteering for a local organisation and giving back to my community. I was also thinking of the importance of health and well-being and how that contributes to a good quality of life. Then I saw in one of the newsletters that Healthwatch Greenwich were looking for board members – and everything aligned.” 

Lynne’s team provides an important function in the strategic direction of the organisation, and as a sounding board for new plans. “The Board must have the right skills to both assess risks and recognise opportunities. That is why we have looked at all our skills collectively and decided to bring in new expertise, especially around HR, Finance, and Marketing.” 

The impact of COVID-19 means our role as Healthwatch is now more important than ever. We need to ensure the needs of local people are being met in the services provided to them and amplify the voices of marginalised groups.
—  Lynne Gilchrist

“A great Board will have all sorts of different people on it with their unique experience, skills and expertise.” She continues. “It is a balancing act between being able to see the big picture, but also being able to grasp the finer detail and the processes that need to happen in order to succeed.” 

For Lynne, her role as the Chair of the Board is to provide oversight and governance for the organisation. “It’s also about bringing my own business skills and experience to the Board and supporting the staff team to maintain Healthwatch mission, vison, and values in all that it does.”  

Lynne told us that she has enjoyed working closely with our CEO, and meeting key stakeholders such as leaders of the local authority and the local Clinical Commissioning Group. “I use my professional experience to bring an independent point of view to these meetings, as well as listening and learning more about what is important to them. The impact of COVID-19 means our role as Healthwatch is now more important than ever. We need to ensure the needs of local people are being met in the services provided to them and amplify the voices of marginalised groups.” 

What is in store for Lynne in the next few months? “I guess like loads of people, I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family. I want to see my mum who lives in Hampshire, and to meet friends for a weekend lunch outdoors. My husband and I already have a whole load of dates set, and we’re hoping to have some sunny outdoor lunches soon!” 

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