Twitter handle: @robmoriarty
Patient/Carer or NHS Staff: Patient
Condition or job title: C4/5 Spinal Cord Injury
Place of treatment/care or workplace: Stoke Mandeville NSIC
I am 37 and have lived with a high level spinal cord injury following a diving accident in 1998 which left me wheelchair-bound and completely dependent on 24 hour care. After a year of rehab I returned to full time education, completing three A-Levels, followed by a Joint Honours degree from the University of Leeds. In 2004 I was one of the first students requiring 24 hour care to live abroad on the Erasmus program, spending four months in Germany.
Since 2005 I’ve lived in my own flat, managing my own team of PAs through a combination of Direct Payments, Personal Budgets, Continuing Healthcare and for the last five years a Personal Health Budget. I regularly speak at universities about my health and social care experiences that have enabled me to live independently and run a successful business.
I was a founder member of the Free To Live Leeds peer support group, whose members all manage their own care and share their experiences through Service User Involvement groups and in 2011 became a director of Leeds Centre for Integrated Living. I also hold honorary positions as an I Care… Ambassador and a Fellow of the Centre for Welfare Reform.
In 2017 I joined the NHS England Strategic Co-production Group for Personalised Care, an advisory group of people with lived experience of personalisation in the NHS, enabling me to help influence the future direction of national policy and speak at events all over the UK – even as far as Cophenhagen.
With what free time I have, I enjoy watching a wide range of sports, listening to music, attending live gigs, anything to do with technology and socialising with friends. I’m also a domestic servant to two cats, a full time job in itself striving to maintain the lifestyle they continually command.