Caroline Millar

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. As a consultant she has advised organisations on governance, user involvement, performance measurement, complaints handling and communications.

Her key interests are public accountability, effective governance in public interest organisations and 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, charities 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.

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 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.

Caroline is an assessor for the CANparent Quality Mark for universal parenting programmes and helped to design the assessment process.  She acted as consultant for the Family and Parenting Insitutute supporting organisations who were funded by the Parenting Fund writing a popular guidance leaflet for schools on how to involve parents.

She has worked with the Tavistock Centre for Couple relationships to carry out research and run focus groups to support the centre in developing and marketing new services.

MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

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.   Recent projects include work with a London local authority to support the development of Heathwatch; research and development on a new quality mark for services for couples in conflict; advising a number of national health service providers on improving patient engagement in the development of services and carrying out a Board Effectiveness Review for a large statutory body.

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 in health, education and social care.  She has also led on our work to develop greater customer focus in general practice and other organisations looking for ways to engage users.