Karen Maskell, lay member for Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group, accepted the award at Wokefield Park, Berkshire, during an NHS Thames Valley and Wessex leadership recognition awards ceremony.
The awards celebrate leaders at all levels and across all professions in the NHS who have improved people’s health and the public’s experience of the NHS.
Speaking after the ceremony, Karen said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have received this award.“Although I find it challenging at times, I thoroughly enjoy representing patients and the public in Bracknell and Ascot, ensuring their voices are heard and considered when decisions are made about service improvements or changes.
She added: “Now more than ever, we’re seeing health partners working more closely together across the east of Berkshire to plan and provide the best possible care to improve our quality of life.
“Equally, we all have a role to play in taking responsibility for our own health and care and making the best out of life.”
Karen is recognised for her huge contribution in the creation of HealthMakers locally. These are a group of volunteers with long-term health issues who teach others how to live well as well as they can with their own health problems.
The group train others to become HealthMakers and work closely with local health services to improve patient care and quality of life.
Karen’s vision for the group arose from the 2012 Olympics, during which 80,000 volunteer Games Makers happily contributed their time and energy to helping visitors. Karen wanted to capture the spirit of a well-trained and motivated community to support health and wellbeing, thus HealthMakers were born.
She also works as a patient partner with the Thames Valley Senate and the NHS England Patient Experience Oversight Group.
Sarah Bellars, Director of Nursing and Quality for the three CCGs in east Berkshire, said: “Karen tirelessly seeks and represents the public’s view and ensures those around them do so as well.
“The way in which she works with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network and East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups epitomises effective, collaborative patient engagement. She challenges the status quo in a way that is constructive and opens up new ways of looking at things.”