We would like to congratulate Matthew McKenzie, Trust Volunteer who has been recognised in the New Year Honours List 2024. It is a well-deserved achievement for all the amazing work he does to raise the profile of carers and their voice locally and nationally. A carer is anyone who provides help to a family member, partner or friend that cannot cope without their support.
Matthew McKenzie, Trust Volunteer, said: "I was shocked, but delighted to be awarded the BEM. I have always worked hard to support carers through my carer groups and campaigns over the years with Carers UK and other organisations. I continue to raise support for carers, which is why I run the carer stall at University Hospital Lewisham and also at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
"Unpaid carers struggle to get identification, so it helps that LGT is working hard to include families and carers. I would like to thank the Trust and their staff for supporting me and engaging with carers, there is still a lot of work to do."
Michelle Acquah, Patient Experience Manager, explained: “The Trust is privileged to have the support of Matthew McKenzie, he is a dedicated volunteer and carer advocate who oversees the weekly carer stalls on both hospital sites. These stalls serve as a valuable resource for carers, offering information on advocacy, peer groups, forums, carer’s rights, well-being, and referrals to carers' centres.
“Matthew actively visits the hospital wards and engages with colleagues, highlighting the significance of involving carers and providing assistance and advice. He is also involved in the work to rollout the carers' hospital discharge toolkit which is in the planning phase. This initiative aims to improve carers' experiences and those they care for during the hospital discharge process."
It is everyone’s responsibility to include carers as family input and involvement can directly link to the quality of care a patient receives. By involving the patient's family or carers into the care process and decisions it creates an environment of open conversation. Families and carers can provide vital information, and their input on what they believe will work best for the patient, as well as the kind of care they can provide at home or support is invaluable. This engagement not only improves health outcomes and patient satisfaction but also ensures the patient feel supported and comfortable.
If you would like Matthew to visit you at the hospital please contact the Patient Experience team at LG.PatientExperienceLGT@nhs.net or stop by the stall 5-6:30pm, Tuesdays at QEH and Thursdays at UHL.