Outpatient Experience Group (OPEG)

Our Outpatient Experience Group (OPEG) is made up of interested people who help to make positive change to our Outpatient services.

Our Outpatient Experience Group (OPEG) is made up of interested people who help to make positive change to our Outpatient services.

Our OPEG members

Patient Representative at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Elaine Freeman a short Biography:

I trained as a nurse in the early 70’s at Addenbrookes’ Hospital in Cambridge. Once trained I mainly specialised in cancer services particularly in top London Hospitals. I retired from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust where I held many roles one of which was a Modern Matron, and I retired as a Divisional Operational Manager for Orthopaedics with a lifetime achievement award.

Once retired I lived on the Lincolnshire coast where I became a Town Councillor for Skegness Town Council. I then moved to Burton Waters and joined the Patient Experience Panel at ULHT where I became interested in joining the Outpatient Experience Group representing parts of my community with issues that arise from their outpatient appointments.

OPEG members particularly hospital staff are very welcoming to Patient Representatives, they listen to issues raised, and act accordingly to resolve any issues as expediently as possible.

Patient Representative at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Maureen Cassidy a short Biography:

I spent my working life in London with the same company in finance and latterly in their head office dealing with amongst other things Directors salaries and company pensions.

I was fortunate to be able to retire at a fairly early age and enjoy the freedom to travel including as well as owing a home in Spain. I then realised that there was something I was missing; interaction with people, something I had been doing all my working life. I subsequently volunteered at my local Hospital in Buckinghamshire. Living on a steep hill in Bucks was probably not ideal in later life so we came to Lincolnshire.

When we were settled I needed to do something to remain engaged with society and at the same time be useful.  I have a volunteer role in two other Government funded organisations, however they are very “rules ” constrained. Having enjoyed the hospital volunteering in Buckinghamshire I applied to ULHT. The beauty of the Outpatient Experience Group and other panels and groups I attend is that there is a willingness to listen, learn and resolve queries that you bring based on patient experiences that have been brought to you .

Where a resolution is said not to be possible an explanation is normally given and can be challenged. Quite often a update or possible change to a system upon which you are asked to comment or input is part of the meeting. Throughout the Trust  we are well received and valued.

Patient Representative at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Michael Cassidy a short Biography:

I am Michael Cassidy and a Patient Representative and Outpatient Experience panel member with ULHT. I spent many years working for a major company where I was involved with the public and employees on a daily basis. Having retired relatively young to ‘travel and do nothing’  after a time the allure of airports and ferries faded.

Living in the Chiltern Hills ,Buckinghamshire I ended up volunteering at High Wycombe hospital regaining that social interaction I missed and that had been part of my working life.

Moving to Lincolnshire, to get away from hills, once settled and my garden sorted I needed to once again re engage with people and do something. I became a Volunteer with ULHT and subsequently joined the Patient  Experience Panel and then Outpatients Experience Group.

As a non employee your observations, questions and suggestions are welcomed as quite often you see and hear an aspect or difficulty that those closely involved do not and the public will often offer their input to you. I also volunteer with two other public organisations which give me additional views from the public to bring to meetings. A large number of inputs brought to the group  result in action for the benefit of all, which is rewarding. I find all the staff, irrespective of level welcoming and friendly .