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CCG lay member Pam Essler awarded British Empire Medal for outstanding contributions to NHS


31 Dec 2021

NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG are celebrating the achievements of Pam Essler, recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Picture of Pam Essler sitting at a desk, leaning towards camera, smiling.

Pam, a retired teacher from Keighley, was awarded a British Empire Medal for outstanding contributions to health services.

After retiring from a career in education in 1996, Pam decided to concentrate on local community involvement, working with health services to improve people’s experiences and address inequalities. Her commitment and hard work are rewarded with the British Empire Medal for services to the community.

Pam is well-known and respected in the local voluntary sector, having volunteered with many charities. She currently volunteers as a Trustee for Project 6, Community Action Bradford and District, in addition to chairing Keighley Healthy Living and Bradford Airedale Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Over the years she has supported many local charities with her expertise and experience.

Pam has served as a lay member on several local, regional and national NHS boards, as a tireless advocate for the voices of patients and carers in decision-making. From 2013 to 2019, Pam was the Deputy Chair for Airedale Wharfedale and Craven CCG. She continued to play an essential role in the merged Bradford District and Craven CCG as the Individual Funding Review panel chair. Pam is also active in the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, as a member of the Public Patient Involvement Lay Member Group. Through the Improving Planned Care programme board, she is helping ensure that medical treatments are available equitably, no matter where people live across the region.

Pam Essler said:

I was surprised and delighted by this recognition. I work alongside many dedicated people and organisations striving to improve health and wellbeing in our area, and I feel humbled to have my contribution recognised. My personal challenges of navigating the health system motivated me to get involved and find ways to improve services. I am proud to have helped bring the voices and experiences of local people into decision making.

Helen Hirst, chief officer of NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG, said:

I was delighted to learn that Pam was to receive this honour. She has long been part of our NHS family in Bradford district and Craven, offering expertise and support while never being afraid to challenge. Pam’s fierce intelligence, empathy, and absolute focus on outcomes for local people have made a real difference to our communities. She has been a champion for local people and a key figure in the voluntary sector over many years. She is inspirational, and this honour is very well-deserved.

Rob Webster, CEO-Designate for West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said:

I’m delighted Pam has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for her outstanding contribution to health services. Pam has been an active member of the Partnership’s Public, Patient Involvement Lay Member Group since it began in 2016. Her important role, alongside other members, has helped to ensure we keep people’s voices at the heart of all we do and has been influential in shaping care to meet our communities’ needs.

Pam Essler BEM is awaiting notification of the official ceremony to present her honour.

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