A mum who has helped give Nottinghamshire NHS patients and carers a voice for almost 30 years has been recognised in the first King’s New Year’s Honours.
Trish Cargill, from Cotgrave, is the chair of the Patient Participation Group (PPG), which works in partnership with Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust. She became involved in volunteering with the Trust when her son Chris was born with severe, complex needs, and needed around-the-clock care. Chris sadly died four years ago.
“Chris was in and out of hospital, and received such fantastic, compassionate care and support from everyone at NUH, I wanted to give something back. My involvement has just grown from there.”
Trish has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to NHS patients.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I am very, very humbled by this,” she said. “I’m overwhelmed.”
The British Empire Medal (BEM) is awarded for a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community. This could be a long-term charitable or voluntary activity, or a shorter piece of innovative work that has made a significant difference.
“This award is not just for me,” said Trish. “It’s also for the incredible people who come together on the PPG to improve patient and carer experience. I have the privilege of working with these incredible people, from all different walks of life, as well as staff, on the PPG It’s a joy and an honour to receive the BEM – and I accept it on their behalf too.
“This is OUR hospital – Nottingham’s hospital and community – and as the PPG we work in partnership with NUH, patients, carers, staff, and the community to help shape and improve services.”
Trish – who is also Chair of Trustees at the Carers’ Federation in Nottingham – found out she’d been nominated for the New Year’s Honours a few weeks ago, and had to read the email several times before she believed it.
The first Honours ceremony under His Majesty King Charles III will take place in early 2023. “I’ll have to buy a new frock!” said Trish, who will be taking daughter Sarah as her guest.
At the time of writing, Sarah still didn’t know about her mum’s surprise news.
“It’s all been so hush hush! said Trish. “I’ll be in such trouble when I tell her – she won’t believe that I could keep it a secret!”
Keith Girling, Medical Director at NUH, said: “We’re delighted that Trish’s commitment to working with us on patient and carer experience has been recognised and celebrated in this way.
“Patient public involvement has been central to a number of quality improvement initiatives and has ensured we get the real voice of patients into the changes we are making.
“Trish has been pivotal in supporting NUH with this work and we are indebted to her and all the other members of our Patient Participation Group.”
Katie Moore, Head of Patient Public Involvement at NUH, added: “Trish has a natural ability to relate to everyone which, combined with her experience and passion, means she is a real asset to the Trust. She’s achieved some amazing results that will continue to benefit our patients for years to come.”