@NHS from 04/09/17 to 08/09/17
Condition: Crohn’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Place of treatment: Inflammatory Bowel Disease services at King George Hospital – Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, Rhumatology Services at Whipps Cross Hospital – Barts Health NHS Trust.
Hi guys, my names Emma – I am 29 and live in Redbridge. I have Crohn’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2012 when I was 24 and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis last year. Crohn’s Disease is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is an auto immune condition. Rheumatoid Arthritis is also an auto immune disease; many people with IBD experience ‘extra intestinal conditions’, conditions which are related but occur outside of the intestines.
I am therefore a regular user of health services in Redbridge and attend services at two hospital trusts – Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust for my Crohn’s Disease (King George Hospital), and Barts Health for my Rheumatoid Arthritis (Whipps Cross Hospital). Over the years I have become involved in my local hospital trusts as a ‘Patient Partner’; a patient who proactively works with the trust to improve services. I am also an Appointed Member on the London Borough of Redbridge Health Scrutiny Committee; an independent person (with no affiliation to a political party) that aims to be the voice of Redbridge Patients. I am serving on the committee for a period of 4 years; from 2014 – 2018. I love making the most out of my unfortunate experiences to improve services for others and I have a passion for patient engagement… which leads me onto my day job.
In my day job I work for Healthwatch Enfield as a Policy, Insight and Research Manager and have been there since the birth of Healthwatch, 4 years ago. Healthwatch is a statutory organisation that aims to be the voice of service users to inform and influence local services. I will be using my week as a curator to talk about Healthwatch and the work it does to impact patient experience and service provision.
Alongside all of the above, my other passions in life are my family, friends and little doggies! I have a big, close knit family who mean the world to me. I am also fortunate to have two close groups of girl friends who I love dearly. My ‘home girls’ (from school) and my ‘uni girls’ (from my time living and studying at Royal Holloway University). I am so lucky to have so many amazing friends who have supported me throughout my ill health. Last but not least, the other two loves of my life are Daisy & Lily – two little Yorkshire terriers who are the cutest doggies in the world!