Former local councillor, Patrick Vernon OBE, was included by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) in their 2014 list of top health and care pioneers from BME backgrounds.
Patrick made the list, which was announcement on Thursday 6 November, for his work with marginalised communities for over two decades. Over the last three years Patrick has played a key role in setting up and developing Healthwatch England – the national consumer champion for health and social care.
As Chair of the original Healthwatch Advisory Group and now a member of the Healthwatch England Committee, he has promoted the need to engage with hard to reach groups and helped to amplify their voices at a local and national level in the debate around health and care services.
Patrick Vernon said: “It’s great to be recognised by the Health Service Journal, NHS Leadership Academy, and NHS Employers for my work and commitment over the years in tackling issues around equality and inclusion in health and social care.
“I hope to use this recognition to further campaign, lobby and support development of services and policy that meets the needs of patients, service users, carers and the wider community.”
Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England, said: “Patrick has been an invaluable member of the Healthwatch England Committee, helping us to think through and implement our approach to equalities.
“Always acting in the interests of patients and users of service who are less well represented or able to speak out on their own behalf, he thoroughly deserves his place amongst the HSJ’s top 100 BME pioneers.”
The HSJ’s top 50 celebrates those who, through their exceptional leadership abilities and day-to-day efforts, are inspiring others and helping to shape and deliver excellent care for all.
The HSJ invited readers to name those they thought our judges should consider. Nominations were accepted both via Twitter and via hsj.co.uk. A panel of expert judges were asked to review the long list and add suggestions of their own. The judges considered individuals who met two or more of the following criteria: benefit, influence, leadership and inclusivity.
Mr Vernon’s nominators described him as “a tireless campaigner across health and social care for equitable access and patient experience for BME communities”. And that pretty much encapsulates his dedication and commitment to equality and diversity.
The Judges added: “He is a really strong candidate for the work he’s done around mental illness.”
The reception was hosted by Alastair McLellan, Editor of HSJ and he said: “BME Pioneers remains one of the most important special supplements that we publish. Some of our names are well known, some have up to now been unsung. But what they are all doing is providing inspiration to those around them, inspiration that deserves to be recognised and applauded. We hope, once again, our BME Pioneers supplement will spark reflection.”