Our Chair, Ruth Passman
My ambition for 2020/ 21 is to help Healthwatch Bury to be better known and understood locally and to become a ‘go to’ organisation for all our communities.
I am deeply committed to improving health and care services in Bury, where I have lived for many years. I am a carer, I have personal experience of accessing healthcare in Bury on behalf of myself and my family and I have over twenty years of experience of working in the Department of Health and as a senior executive in the NHS. This knowledge and experience is of value to me in this role.
I am an experienced and charismatic leader with great credibility as an expert in disabled living. I have had a successful business career and brought commercial acumen into my roles in the voluntary sector. I am now a respected champion of disabled people with an excellent national network of experts. I marry a passion for improving the lives of disabled people with realism and a pragmatic approach to delivering practical solutions to difficult challenges for people living with disability. As a result I am respected and valued by the disabled community, policy makers and politicians.
Having been Chief Officer of ADAB for over 10 years, I have a track record of engaging with people from the minority ethnic communities. Our overall vision is to support people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, including new and emerging refugees and asylum seekers. We help to build their confidence and independence to enable them to access vital services and to become more active in the community. We aim to broaden their knowledge and skills and assist them to move into education, training or employment; improve their health and wellbeing and develop their sense of belonging as a responsible and valued citizen of Bury.
In fact, we have a similar remit to Healthwatch Bury, aiming to provide a service to all the residents of Bury MBC.
I retired from the NHS in 2021 after 38 years’ service and wish to continue to actively support the Healthcare sector and its supporting agencies and utilise the expertise gained during my career through the opportunities available via Bury Healthwatch.
My NHS role involved the provision of support services across the organisation to its stake holders and I recognise the importance of a quality environment to support patient care.
While in the NHS I engaged with Healthwatch colleagues, and I recognise the important role they provide as a ‘critical friend’, the support they provide to the local community and the importance of ensuring local residents know how Healthwatch can assist them.
I enquired initially about becoming a volunteer with Healthwatch Bury around five years ago. I attended several meetings and training sessions before becoming a board member recently.
Because of my paid work and voluntary work, I can offer a breadth of experience from working at the grass roots to training the next generation of people working in the social care field.
I am very familiar with the health and care system, policies and procedures required to follow, requirements by care quality commission when inspecting and I keep up to date with new initiatives and strategies. These include introduction of Integrated Care Systems, application of virtual technology to care and measures to alleviate digital exclusion, to name a few.
I am also very aware of shortcomings in the system which Healthwatch Bury has been surveying, studying, and feeding back to appropriate bodies.
I look forward to taking part in future studies, listening to people’s needs, recommending, and reporting back to relevant bodies and ensuring that the people in Bury have access to the best health and social care service. Having been a resident for 50 years as well as a patient of the services, I have a vested interest in doing my utmost, along with the team, to make this happen!
I have been involved with assisting people with health and financial issues for over 30 years, which has been my prime objective working for several organisations including local authority, charity and voluntary organisation,
At present I am working to improve services provided by the NHS, local authority and other groups that aim to assist vulnerable people with health issues, who belong to minority groups in society that struggle through lack of poor communication to enable their needs to be met. These include people with physical, sensory and mental health, especially those who, because of communication difficulties, struggle to have their needs met.
Gita Bhutani & Masoud Sanii (profiles to follow).