Over twenty years working in the UK consumer movement has given Caroline a deep and varied expertise with public, private and voluntary sector organisations, their users and customers. For the last fifteen years as a consultant she has advised organisations on user involvement, performance measurement, complaints handling and communications.
Her key interests are public accountability and effective governance in public interest organisations. She is interested in helping organisations find ways to turn views and feedback from users into real business intelligence that changes the way they deliver services.
A qualified teacher, Caroline was educated in Scotland and studied at Cambridge and City Universities.
MANAGING THE CUSTOMER AND USER INTEREST
Caroline has engaged with NHS trusts, utility companies, consumer bodies and government departments in improving customer satisfaction and mechanisms for involving users and customers in decision-making. She has set up and run complex complaints procedures which comply with legal and regulatory requirements. She has produced training materials for managers, employees and consumer representatives and delivered training programmes. Caroline researched and wrote a report for the National Children’s Bureau looking at the use of Social Enterprise as a means of delivering services for children and young people.
PROMOTING INVOLVEMENT BY LOCAL USERS
Caroline spent five years as a Non-Executive Director of City and Hackney Primary Care Trust and was the lay member on the board of City and Hackney Community Health Services before they were moved across to the Homerton Hospital. She was also Vice Chair of the London Passenger Users Committee for several years where she chaired the disability and access committee. She is a parent governor and Vice Chair in a primary school federation in Hackney where she set up a of Parents’ Forum and a Parent Council. She is also Chair of the user group in her local park, Clissold Park , where a restoration project costing £9m was recently completed with considerable public and media interest.
FAMILIES, CHILDREN AND EDUCATION
Caroline is currently Chair of the Parent and Carer Group of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and sits on the Patient Liaison Group of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges where she leads on quality improvement. She also sits as a lay member on the Academy’s Health Inequalities Forum.
Caroline is strongly committed to improving the involvement of parents in the running of schools. She played a key role in a Department for Children, Schools and Families project to develop a national toolkit and training programme to support schools in setting up and running Parent Councils and contributed to the department’s review of school governance. She has worked with a number of schools to help set up better processes for parental engagement and consultation. For four years she was a consultant to the Family and Parenting Institute working with small, third sector organisations to help them deliver innovative services for parents and families and writing a popular guidance leaflet for schools on how to involve parents.
As London Regional Manager for the Office of Water Services (Ofwat) in the early nineties Caroline helped develop links between the regulator, the customers and the newly privatised water companies, managed complaints, developed the first Codes of Practice and helped set standards of service. Caroline was later Business Manager of National Consumer Council Services, a consultancy business run jointly by NCC and Deloitte and Touche.
Caroline at M-A-C
As a M-A-C Partner Caroline takes the lead on work with children, schools and families. Her current projects include work with a London local authority to support them on the development of Heathwatch; carrying out research and development for a new quality mark for services for couples in conflict and advising a national health service provider on improving patient engagement in the development of services. Caroline began her time with MAC as an Associate working with NHS Quality Improvement Scotland on a focused consultation on their Patient Focus and Public Involvement Framework during 2006. Since becoming a partner in 2007 she has taken the lead on our work to support schools and local education authorities in developing greater involvement of parents and young people. She has also led on our work to develop greater customer focus in general practice and other organisations looking for ways to engage users.