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The Exeter Nurse works in partnership with patients, family members, informal caregivers, and members of the Nursing Academy PPI group upholding the principle “nothing about us without us”. The Exeter Nurse listens to and learns from the patient voice sharing the process of healthcare decision-making.

PPI Pillar, 7 Pillars of Learning

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Group

Faye Doris - Chair

My name is Faye Doris, and I am a member of the Patient Participation and Involvement (PPI) Advisory Group, in the Academy of Nursing. I am a user of the primary and secondary care services in Exeter. When I experienced health care, I valued kindness, compassion, and respect from my care givers. I strongly believe in evidenced based care and strong role models in nursing, midwifery, and the health professions.

I am a Public Governor at the RD&E NHSFT, having been elected by members of the Trust from the constituencies of Exeter and South Devon. I provide a lay/user voice in this capacity. I am a member of the Trust’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and believe an inclusive patient voice is important. From my experience as a previous healthcare worker, a governor, and a patient, I recognise what compassionate, safe, high quality care should look like.

I am pleased to be a patient member of the Academy of Nursing, PPI Advisory Group, and the ultimate growth of strong nurses, nurse leaders and nurse researchers who provide care in a multi-professional healthcare team.

Barbara Sweeney - Deputy Chair

I joined the PPI group in 2019 and am delighted to contribute to the development of the next generation of nurses by sharing patients’ and carers’ experiences.

I’ve lived in Exeter for 40 years, working in healthcare, higher and further education. Now retired, I hold voluntary roles in health and education. I’m a trustee of Hospiscare, and particularly interested in end-of-life care, and the importance of brave and compassionate nursing.

I’m an elected Public Governor on the Council of Governors of the RD&E NHS Foundation Trust, holding the Non-Executive members of the Board to account and ensuring the Board understands the needs of the community it serves.
My late husband and I raised our four children in Exeter. Three of them work in the NHS, as did their Dad, an academic GP. I appreciate the challenges as well as the rewards of working in healthcare. As carer of my husband in his last year, I’ve witnessed excellent nursing care, and care which could have been ‘even better if’.

As the expert in their own illness, the patient’s voice is central. I’m privileged to be part of the PPI, to help shape the nurses of the future.

Howard Almond

I am semi-retired having spent a life-time in computer software design and development, much of it spent in Austria and Germany working in conjunction with leading universities in advanced commercial projects in process, change and project management and advanced User Interface design.

I was brought up just outside Exeter and when I returned to the area in 2003 I became the main carer for my mother who was diagnosed with dementia. I lived with her through the 10 year development of the illness until she passed away in September 2013.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). I took part in a clinical trial for a new drug – attending the RD&E for a weekly injection and tests for a year. In this time, I got to know the research team very well and was later invited to talk at research conferences in Exeter and London.

I became a trustee of the charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis ( in 2017.

I run a support group for PF patients in Plymouth, and also help run the Exeter support group.

From 2011 till 2019 I was a town councillor in Dawlish – and Mayor from 2015 to 2016.

Simon Privett

I join the PPI Advisory Group as a Patient Representative with a strong focus on Epilepsy. I have lived with epilepsy for most of my life and much of my spare time has been devoted to voluntary activities related to the condition. Fenforced redundancy from hospitality I reskilled, spending a short time working in Complex Care before taking a position with Epilepsy Action.

I have been involved in several Exeter University projects over the years. One of these projects was an innovative project to use theatre to explain what happens in the brain during a seizure. This project led to a production called "Beyond My Control" (click here to wacth the trailer), which went on a National Tour in 2018. Another project was a study to use maths to model the epileptiform activity in the human brain to better diagnose epilepsy, which has since become a full-scale company to do just that, with clinical potential. The project has recently been awarded NIHR grants to develop their clinical tool.

Following this involvement, I was invited to join the MAGPIE (Modelling Advisory Group, Public Involvement and Engagement), part of the TREE (Translational Research Exchange Exeter). As part of this position, I bring the patient perspective to healthcare research in many varied conditions from Chronic Heart Conditions to spinal injury to Dementia.

Lisa Reynolds

My name is Lisa Reynolds, I am a local girl, born in Torbay, Devon and have only briefly been away from the county.
I was a student nurse based in North Wales from 1993 – 1997, I graduated with a 3rd class Honours Bachelor of Nursing degree. Post qualifying, I spent my first 2 years in Oxford at a specialist Respiratory Unit, this unit received patients from Intensive Care Unit (ICU), I returned to Devon taking a medical rotational post (Gastrology, Care of the Elderly and Cardiology) at RD&E Hospital. Love the variety of specialties but the commute was proving hard, and I returned to Torbay Hospital June 2000, furthering my Gastrology and cardiology knowledge and skills and by 2003 settling within the Cardiac Unit on Coronary Care by the time I left the cardiac Unit I was a junior sister and even though leaving was hard for my career, my family needed me.

I left nursing at an acute trust in May 2005 to care for my father until he died that October. I have been caring for someone in a variety of ways since 2000-2002. My previous caring roles were all encompassing, both mentally and physically. Since April 2017, my caring role has been emotional and practical support linked to my sister with her long-term medical condition.

My work life is now shorter due to my long-term/chronic medical conditions and there treatments and currently work for Torbay Carer Services working to improving lives of unpaid carers. I work a maximum of 15 hours.

I very much believe in good practice, owning up to mistakes and look forward to supporting the Academy of Nursing with my knowledge and experiences as a patient, carer, and Nurse.

Heather Boult

My name is Heather Boult and I have been actively involved in Patient and Public Involvement in Medical Research at Exeter University for 8 years now. I have had over 20 years’ experience as a career, parent and patient in and out of various children’s and adults’ hospitals whilst caring for my children and elderly relatives. I am interested in improving communication and care given to children though to teenagers and young adults through transition and into adult services. Hearing children’s views is very important and giving them support, both emotional and mental support, as well as their medical treatment. In my job as a community centre manager, I often hear about hospital experiences from older people and with my PPI involvement, it has developed my interest in seeing the nurses get the right training to do their jobs well and learn things from people that are not seen or taught in text books.

We can improve students’ learning by talking to patients they will treat in future and with increased new technology, enhance their learning. Also how treatments and care is explained to patients while on the wards and after discharge - this is one of the areas I would like to see improved as it is the family and care givers and outside nurse agencies that help the patient recover.

Fergus and Bel McDonald

We joined the PPI group as they wanted a representative with learning disabilities to share their experience. Fergus has Down Syndrome and a very complex medical history. He has been in hospital many times as a paediatric patient and as his Mum I have lots of experience of being his carer and advocate whilst in hospital.

We think it’s crucial that the voices of those with a learning disability are heard and valued and Fergus is very keen to help the student nurses to learn how to communicate with people with a learning disability. We come as a bit of a double act!

Malcolm Turner

My name is Malcolm Turner and I joined the PPI Advisory Group for the Academy of Nursing in January 2021. I was born in Leicester but have lived in rural Somerset for the past 40 years.

Having retired from paid employment in 2006 I have undertaken a wide range of public participation roles mainly in health research.
Having lived experience of Type 2 Diabetes I describe myself as a ‘helper, carer, facilitator and friend’ to those in my local community. My father suffered with disseminated sclerosis and my younger brother with schizophrenia.

Prior to my early retirement I gained an MSc in Local Economic Development awarded by the University of Glasgow. The culmination of a long and varied career was a role as CEO of Bridging the Gap (Bristol) Ltd from 1999-2006. Bridging the Gap supported individuals from disadvantaged groups to gain meaningful and sustainable employment.

In June 2016 I became a member of the Peninsula Patient Engagement Group (PenPEG previously PenPIG). The following year I also became an elected Public Governor of the Somerset Partnership NHS Trust and served a three-year term of office.

In February 2017 I became a member of the College of Medicine & Health Patient Involvement in Medical Education Group (PIME) representing the group on the BMBS Board of Studies. I also fulfil a role as a public participant on the College of Medicine & Health Research Ethics Committee.

I am also a member of the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASfT) Patient Involvement in Research Group (PIRG).
I’m very keen to ensure that the patients voice is heard and that we constantly look at ways to build on best practice, improve health services and learn from any past mistakes.

When I’m not involved in health related matters I enjoy travel, music, reading, walking and watching all sport.