Having a seat at the table
Jennifer looks back over “dark and challenging” times nine years ago when she woke up unable to walk. Since then, she has become an active spokesperson for disabled people.
Jennifer now works as a Care Quality Commission (CQC) Expert by Experience (ExE) and is a member of the National Co-production Advisory Group (NCAG), a membership body committed to personalised care.
Experts by Experience are people who have recent personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses health, mental health and/or social care services that CQC regulate. Choice Support delivers the Experts by Experience services for CQC. During CQC inspections, Experts by Experience speak to people using services and their family or organisations that support them. They may also observe how the service is delivered and speak to staff. Their findings are used to support the inspectors’ judgments on services and may be included in inspection reports.
In her role as an Expert, Jennifer has also been invited to speak about important issues relating to disabled people. She has given speeches to audiences of over 300 people at a CQC special event and addressed a member of the House of Lords. “This work not only gives me a sense of worth, but also makes lives easier for others who require services,” Jennifer says.
“I would encourage anyone with a disability to get involved in speaking up as much as possible to improve services. For me, this has made a big difference to my wellbeing. The key to it has been making sure that I get an equal say- whether that’s for my health care or whether that’s having a seat at the table with influential people”.
Read Jennifer’s latest personal blog.
Read more about CQC Experts by Experience
Read more about the National Co-production Advisory (NCAG)