Meet our new Chair

10th September 2019

The last few months have been a very exciting time for the Patient and Client Council with the arrival of not only a new Chief Executive, Vivian McConvey but also a new Chair.
We are proud to introduce Christine Collins MBE as the Chair for the PCC.

Christine retired from the Civil Service in 2005 and since this time has immersed herself in the world of human rights, equality and advocacy; with a particular focus on those living with disability and/or rare disease.
Christine was a Commissioner at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 2011 to 2017.

Christine has spent her time since her appointment working tirelessly to meet many throughout Health and Social Care – and we felt it was time we had a getting to know you conversation with Christine to find out about her first few months with the organisation.

We first asked Christine what she felt the role of a Chair is, to which she told us:

It’s to lead, by making sure that the Council Members and staff are facilitated to play their full part in the work of the PCC. It’s to represent the PCC to the public; and especially to ensure that the PCC listens to the voices of patients and families.  It’s to ensure that those voices are heard, and taken fully into account, wherever they need to be heard, within the rest of the HSC or across the public sector generally, where health and social care issues are impacted by other policies- for example, transport, education, housing, employment.

Why does the Patient and Client Council matter in 2019?

‘Everyone in NI is, or may be, a recipient of health and social care services, or impacted by health and social care policies.
The PCC is there to ensure that people’s views and concerns are heard by service delivery organisations and policy makers.

At the moment, the HSC system uses almost half of the NI public sector budget.The system has to change and change rapidly and fundamentally. Patients, families, service users and carers must be part of that change process: they have to be informed of the choices; and their views and their experiences must be a central part in the transformation process.’

What is the one thing everyone should know about the PCC?

That the PCC is there; and it’s there to help them make sure their views are heard and their experience is respected.

What is the most important quality in a Chairperson?

That’s a really tough one, because a good Chair has to be an amalgam of attributes. I think maybe maturity is the key: the ability to know from experience that you don’t know it all; to respect and support others; not to get panicked too easily; to be patient and think not just of the immediate but of the long term.. and to know when a decision is needed; how to make sure everyone contributes to reaching that decision; and to take the decision. And to make sure meetings cover what they need to cover, and end on time!

What is your Favourite Quote?

I think I’ve got so many! But maybe Tolkein’s “Not all those who wander are lost”

What is your favourite movie?

Kelly’s Heroes- Donald Sutherland, Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas.. But Casablanca is right up there too!

We thank Christine for her time in her very busy schedule.