Patient Takeover: Julie Lockhart, Trust User Group volunteer
25 April 2017
Our Trust User Group (TUG) represents the voice for ambulance service users, and members are volunteers from around the region. They work with the Patient and Public Involvement team to be ambassadors in the community, and Julie is one of its longest-standing members.
The TUG came into existence after dissolution of the ambulance forum several years ago and it was great to see the Trust’s commitment to PPI by setting up the Trust User Group, ably supported by an excellent PPI team. The group is made up from people from all walks of life, who are interested in how the Trust is run. We became the service’s critical friend and have various reasons to do what we do.
Personally I have seen inequality and unfairness in the treatment of some patients and I am passionate about encouraging empathy and compassion and embodiment of the six Cs.
My greatest honour was being awarded a distinguished service award in 2014 and I really felt part of a great team, not only PPI but in the organisation as a whole.
The past year has been really exciting with engagement with universities and teaching some of the students about PPI. We have continued to work through our work plans, which include infection prevention control (IPC) audits, community first responder (CFR) projects, inductions for new staff, ambassadorial roles such as winter warmers, talks to community groups etc. We are also about to undertake peer review training for feedback and complaints, which will be an exciting new avenue to go down. We also have a new group set up by the Trust called the Volunteer Advisory Forum to further enable effective and constructive feedback.
It has been a pleasure to work with the Trust, although it can occasionally be challenging. I enjoy the work I do and find a lot of satisfaction in being involved in the Trust.