A Justice of the Peace for Stafford and Cannock has stepped into a new role as a public representative working alongside the county town's health bosses.
Sue Harper starts in her role as non-statutory lay member for public and patient involvement at Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for buying healthcare services in the area.
Sue moved to Stafford when she was five years old and had a home in Weeping Cross until she was 21, attending Leasowes Primary and Walton High School. She maintained links with Stafford throughout her life, as her parents and siblings remained in the area.
An active member of the Patient Participation Group at her last surgery, Sue joined the Patient Participation Group (PPG) at Weeping Cross Surgery after returning to Staffordshire seven years ago, where she now lives with her husband in Baswich.
With a professional background as a human resources (HR) manager in a variety of public sector organisations and with her own successful HR consultancy service which provided support to an extensive list of clients in the public and private sector, Sue brings a wealth of experience to the CCG.
In addition, Sue has worked as an Expert Advisor with ACAS and the Home Office and since retiring from her own business, she has worked with Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID) as an outreach worker, working closely with a number of local charities and health service providers within Staffordshire.
Mrs Harper, 60, said: "I've worked for various organisations, professionally and as a volunteer, both locally and nationally, and I hope I can bring that experience to my role on the CCG to the benefit of my own community, the people of Stafford and the surrounding areas and ensure patient voices are heard by the CCG during the challenging times the NHS faces in the future.
"Stafford has a hugely engaged and informed population and I hope that in my role as lay member for public and patient involvement, I will be able to help the CCG build networks that make use of that local knowledge and support their vision for a future healthcare service that keeps patients at the heart of everything we do."