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Public partners

Public partners (sometimes referred to as patient representatives or lay partners) are essential to our work to help ensure that the voice of the local population is heard, and that the experience and views of service users, patients and carers are understood and acted on within our work. Please see below for details of our current public partners.

Local link partners

In 2022 the Oxford AHSN appointed four county-based public partners – known as Local Link Partners – to work with us on our community involvement activities, one for each of the following areas:

  • Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes
  • Frimley & Surrey
  • Oxfordshire
  • West Berkshire

Non Hill – Local Link Partner, Frimley & Surrey 

Having studied biochemistry, Non worked in neuroscience research in the pharmaceutical industry before taking a career break to raise her family. She now works as a citizen ambassador with Healthwatch Surrey and is a volunteer trustee with a national charity, Harry’s Hydrocephalus Awareness Trust (Harry’s HAT), where she is responsible for their family engagement research. When she’s not working, Non enjoys climbing mountains and swimming in lakes.

Steve Lazell – Local Link Partner, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes

Steve’s career has been in the public and private television industry for 28 years, latterly as a television director. He is a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, an Open University graduate, member of his GP patient participation group and a supporter of Diabetes UK. He has experience in type 1 diabetes management through digital devices for patient self-management, participated in clinical research into artificial intelligence use in automated insulin closed loop systems, and gives presentations to new insulin pump users and healthcare professionals. He has also been a carer using health services.

Tracey Rose – Local Link Partner, Oxfordshire

Tracey is a wife, mother and grandmother who was born in Oxford and returned to live in the area six years ago. Over the last 30 years she has been actively involved in the wider healthcare community with charities, NHS committees and as patient advocate on many QI research projects. She is passionate about innovation in healthcare and making sure that everyone’s voice and opinion is heard in both treatments and policy-making decisions.

Karen Swaffield

Karen Swaffield – Local Link Partner, West Berkshire

Karen is passionate about the NHS and patient and public involvement in all public committees and groups, at all levels. She is an advocate for marginalised and disadvantaged groups with a background in education, training and development. Karen has experience of caring, dementia, learning disability, ASD, ADHD and life-limiting disease. Karen completed the Leading Together programme in 2016.

Public partners

In addition, we have been working with the public partners listed below for a number of years. Each brings their own expertise and experience to our work.

Georgina McMasters

Georgina is a retired public sector solicitor. She has been a patient/public contributor since 2007. Her extensive involvement experience includes sitting on patient panels, contributing to Care Quality Commission inspections and providing patient stories to NHS leadership training. Georgina is a rheumatology champion, working with the Oxford AHSN to raise awareness of inflammatory arthritis.

Alison Provins pic

Alison Provins

Alison has a background in financial services specialising in customer experience, staff development and change management. She now uses this experience to help a wide range of organisations to improve. Alison is a lay representative for Health Education England and  a member of the Pharmacy Executive Stakeholder Group at the University of Reading. She completed the Leading Together programme in 2016. Her Oxford AHSN roles include membership of the Patient Experience operational group, Patient Safety Collaborative oversight group and chair of the Working Together Partnership operational group.

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) project patient members

We recruited two patient members to our project evaluating different service models following Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA). This is part of the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme (NIPP). The patient members sit on the steering group and project group, ensuring that service user, patient, carer and family perspectives are included, and that plans to improve care are focussed on what matters most to patients and carers.

Anne Knowland

Anne feels passionately about creating greater public awareness of the symptoms and significance of TIAs and minor strokes, and the steps that can be taken to avoid an escalation to a major, life-altering stroke. Anne has been actively involved in PPI work since semi-retiring from a number of managerial roles in the tertiary academic sector. This has included being a public member of two national HTA (Health Technology Assessment) panels of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) – women and children’s health panel, and in-hospital care panel. In addition to continuing to undertake specific project work for academic institutions, mainly in the area of academic search coordination, she carries out a number of voluntary roles.

Mike Cahill

Mike is a District Councillor in West Oxfordshire and is active in many climate crisis focused organisations. Mike has a degree in the mathematical sciences, and pursued a career in mathematical education in schools, colleges, universities and local authorities. He was seconded from his headship of a large North London comprehensive to run a national project on skills for adult and working life, and followed that by becoming the second director of the National Foundation for Arts Education and a registered Ofsted inspector.