Arrow ImageAcute, PICU and Rapid Response

Posted on Jun 7 2022 by Bobbie Kelly

Carers' Week: Did you know we have a Carer Governor on our Board of Directors?

We have a very special individual on our Board of Directors. Sandy Howse is a special needs teacher, and also our very first Carer Governor. Her son used to be a patient at St Andrew’s and she now hopes to ‘shine a light’ on our carer community.

Sandy explained about her role: “I‘m going to look, through the eyes of a carer, at what goes on at all the St Andrew’s sites, on the wards, as well as the all other vital but unseen service areas. I will hear, with a carer’s ear, what service users, their families and carers as well as hospital staff feel about the service St Andrew’s provides.”

Sandy’s day job as a teacher sees her mainly educate young people who are on the Autistic Spectrum and have learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

She also has a lot of experience within the field of mental health, as she looks after her adult son who has high functioning autism and schizophrenia.

Sandy said: “I know from personal experience just how life changing being a carer is. I will bring all that experience to my role as Carer Governor. I’ve no intention of being a tick-in-the-box Governor.

“My mission is to shake, rattle and roll and to shake things up, where change is necessary. I want to rattle some cages to get things done and roll out the good stuff that’s already happening so that everyone on all the wards on all the sites feel the benefits.”

Sandy said she is very “passionate” about improving provision both in hospital and in the community for those with mental health issues.

She added: “I am a tireless supporter and advocate of families and carers. We hold the long-term welfare of our loved ones in our hands and hearts, always.

“I will shine a light on things that may need scrutiny so that St Andrew’s can give the best possible care to all, and I will listen to the voices of patients, carers, families and to bring about improvements.”

Throughout Carers Week we would like to highlight how we can all support the carers of our patients to be our partners in care, and offer support to all staff members who are carers outside of the workplace. Remember, our friendly Carers Centre team are on hand to offer advice and support; you can contact them on 01604 616125.