Public Partners

We come from a variety of working backgrounds which includes the health service, other parts of the public and voluntary sectors, and private businesses. We also have direct experience of health and social care as patients and/or carers.

Supporting health and social care improvement

We are a dedicated group of people who contribute a ‘lay’ voice to a variety of forums that aim to support health and social care improvement. These include:

  • Patient Participation Groups (PPGs)
  • Governing boards: NHS organisations 
  • Patient Research Ambassadors
  • Education programmes for health service professionals
  • 3rd sector and community groups
  • Patient support groups
Huddle Up for Safer Healthcare: Scaling up safety huddles across 5 Yorkshire hospital sites

Shared passions for health and social care services

We come from a variety of working backgrounds that include the health service, other parts of the public and voluntary sectors and include business. We also have direct experience of health and social care as patients and/or carers.

We have some shared passions and concerns about the current health and social care service:

Patient advocacy

There is a heavy reliance on patients and their families to navigate/push/demand for ‘joined-up, proactive help’ especially for chronic, long-term conditions, and notably for the elderly. This is becoming increasingly difficult for even the most educated, connected and resourced members of society.

What can be done to help people in this effort and what about the more vulnerable?

Staff – Patient collaboration

Despite good examples of ‘lay’ involvement in service improvement, a ‘them’ and ‘us’ culture still prevails.This is very noticeable within GP surgeries where Patient Participation Groups (led by a committed few) often struggle on the one hand to engage many patients, and on the other to gain the support of staff for their input.

How can deeper trust, understanding and a shared agenda be developed?

Ideas for positive change:

We have some ideas for positive change:

  • Explore how the new structures of the Integrated Care System could help
  • Develop and support the public to get the best out of their services
  • Accessing latest research/tools/ techniques to support our work
  • Link with influential people & groups
  • Campaign work: e.g. Me and My Medicines


The Improvement Academy is supporting us in these ambitions and has dedicated this webpage to our work and to our developing ideas.

How the Improvement Academy supports our network:

Lay Fellows peer support

The Improvement Academy hosts biannual meetings for us to share ideas and support each-other and we are invited to events/training via newsletter & email.

Networking with health service staff

We are also invited to meet and share presentations and inspiration at biannual regional networking events for professional improvers from across health & social care.

Our current Lay Fellows

Our current Lay Fellows include:

  • Marilyn Foster
  • David Richardson
  • Graham Prestwich
  • Margaret Wilkinson
  • Pat Newdall
  • Richard Eastoe
  • Savi Tyndale-Biscoe
  • Carol Stevens

Contact  Claire Marsh if you would like to get in touch with our lay fellows – you may have an idea you wish them to know about, or you may be able to help or support in some way.