Our Chair, Liz Meerabeau
I have lived in Kingston for thirty years. I am a retired nurse and health visitor, and was Dean and Professor of Health Care at the University of Greenwich. Before that, in the mid 1990’s, I was a research manager for the Policy Research Programme at the Department of Health. I was for many years a member and then vice-chair of an NHS Research Ethics Committee, and was an appointed governor of Oxleas mental health trust. I have a particular interest in patient experience, particularly in long-term illness, on which I have co-edited a book.
Liz became Chair of Healthwatch Kingston on 1 September 2018.
I joined Healthwatch in August 2013, and was delighted to become the chair at both a challenging and exciting time for the National Health Service. I feel strongly that patients and service users must get the best possible experience when they access services at their GP, hospital or in the wider community. I bring recent experience of being a senior manager in Children’s Services at the council where I took the lead for developing strategic links with local health services, but I am now semi retired and currently work part time for the Sheffield District of the Methodist Church as the Executive Officer for Safeguarding.
I have lived in the borough for 35 years, and believe I have a good level of local knowledge to benefit the wider community of Kingston. I also enjoy walking which I can strongly recommend as an effective stress buster and as a means of trying to get fitter!
My paid working career included over 20 years in voluntary organisations (mostly Councils for Voluntary Service in Croydon, Brent and Lewisham but more recently Kingston Churches Action for the Homeless), 5 years in the NHS (for Merton and Sutton Community Health Council) and 10 years in local authorities (Lambeth, Ealing and Croydon). The main themes of my work have been organisational development, inter-agency partnerships, policy, scrutiny, networking and fundraising. I describe myself as “no longer working for money” and, in addition to Healthwatch, am treasurer for Kingston Methodist Church and secretary to a pre-school management committee. I live in north Kingston and enjoy keeping fit in a local gym.
I joined Healthwatch as a Trustee in 2017 following a career which included organisational and societal development in the pharmaceutical, energy, telecommunications and occupational safety fields. As a Freeman of the City of London Information Technologists Company, I am keen to widen participation in the benefits of technology for all generations. I also engage in mentoring programmes for young people, in particular drawing on my expertise in marketing.
A Kingston resident for over thirty years, focus on mental wellbeing. I’m an amateur musician, sing in a choir and am often out walking, or cycling the lanes of our countryside.
I work currently as a civil servant with a focus on regulatory and compliance issues. Prior to this, I worked in the charity sector – as a professional fundraiser for an organisation supporting people with visual impairments; and as a manager of a project obtaining free legal advice for small voluntary sector organisations. My professional background is in law.
I am passionate about children’s mental health issues. I also have a particular interest in ADHD and autism. I lead on risk management and legal issues for Healthwatch Kingston. I am proud to support Healthwatch Kingston.
I am thrilled to have joined the board of Healthwatch Kingston in 2017, giving me an opportunity to champion patient involvement and improve outcomes in my local borough. I am particularly passionate about public engagement with medical research and increasing access to involvement.
I currently work as a consultant in the charity sector, supporting organisations in developing and delivering cross-organisational strategy and change. Previously I worked for over a decade with Cancer Research UK, holding a range of leadership positions, including Head of Research Information & Engagement and Head of Volunteering. Early on in my career there, I held positions across the fundraising directorate and worked internationally, taking on roles during a sabbatical with the American Cancer Society in New York and Greenpeace Australia Pacific in Sydney. I have a particular passion for Learning & Development, and I’m a trained Action Learning Set facilitator, MBTI qualified practitioner and 360 feedback coach.