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Diana Smith – Lay Member

Diana grew up with the health service. Her mother served as a nursing sister in Normandy in the Second World War and her father was a hospital governor during the formation of the NHS.

Her working background is in housing management and IT consultancy.

After giving birth to her daughter, Diana became interested in the ways women with small children could meet and work together. She set up a skills trading scheme and then a crafts network in Staffordshire.

When her mother developed dementia, Diana became her full-time carer, during which time she became aware of the difficulties faced by sufferers and their families and the need for health and social care to improve the way they worked together.

As a member of the Health Equalities Impact Assessment team formed to scrutinise the Trust Special Administrators proposals for Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation trust, Diana regularly sat around the table with members of the CCG, looking at where there could be a negative impact of some of the proposals and to look at ways to mitigate this.

Diana is driven by her own personal experiences and is well aware of the demographic challenges facing the country and especially in towns like Stafford, where the numbers of the very elderly are increasing year on year.

Diana’s interest in healthcare led to her spending nine months attending the public inquiry into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation, and has also seen her campaigning against the closure of Stafford Hospital’s A&E department overnight and being an integral part of the formation of Support Stafford Hospital.

She is driven by a need to ensure local people have all the information they need to fully understand what is happening within the local health economy and have the opportunity to express their views.

Diana believes there is an opportunity in Stafford for the community to be part of the design of services that will offer the best possible options for now and the future.