We are the Engagement Team at the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). It’s our job to support the CCG to put local people at the heart our decision making.
We are passionate about listening to patients, carers and the public and using their feedback to shape local health services. We work with our commissioners to ensure we engage with local people when we change services.
We think innovation and partnership working is really important and we are committed to working creatively with providers, the voluntary sector and our wonderful team of CCG volunteers.
You can find out more about our work on the CCG website. In the meantime, let us introduce ourselves….
Chris Bridle – Engagement Team Manager
Hello, my name is Chris Bridle.
I trained as a Youth and Community Worker and started my career as a Youth Worker in Leeds. I worked for several voluntary sector organisations before starting work in the NHS in 2002. My first job in the NHS was as a Public Health Specialist working in substance use, sexual health and prisons. In 2005, I started work as an Addiction Specialist, working with homeless drug users in Leeds City Centre. I have now been working in the NHS engagement team for ten years.
The best thing about working at the CCG is being given the freedom to do things differently and creatively.
I live in Leeds with my two children and in my spare time, you’ll find me walking in the countryside, taking photographs of anything and everything, going to music gigs and watching my beloved Sheffield Wednesday.
“You can’t always get what you want / but if you try sometime / you might find / get what you need”
– Rolling Stones
Caroline Mackay – Engagement Lead
Hello, my name is Caroline Mackay
Many years ago I qualified as an interior designer, but then life took me down a series of unexpected paths, and I ended up working for the Big Issue in the North, and then running an addiction and mental health charity in the centre of Leeds for many years.
I joined the CCG in February 2018.
The best thing about working in the CCG is… that having spent most of my working life in the voluntary sector, coming to the CCG was like a completely new challenge – I feel lucky to get to experience the provision of healthcare from this different perspective.
I love an adventure, and a road trip, especially round the North West coast of Scotland J I care about many things, including social justice, basic good manners, equitable health care, etc., etc. but I’m not really bothered about favourite quotes!
Helen Butters – Senior Engagement Officer
Hello, my name is Helen Butters
I feel privileged to have worked for the NHS for many years. I started my career at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust when I was a student as a holiday job. I loved it and decided to stay. I completed a management fast track course and worked in many roles but latterly supporting the Chief Executive around investigating independent reviews. I took a break from work to have my children but returned in 2008 to work at Wakefield Primary Care Trust as an Engagement Manager and then working jointly with colleagues across Kirklees and Huddersfield.
I came back to Leeds in the role of Engagement Lead for Leeds South and East CCG, and I am now enjoying my time with the Engagement team at NHS Leeds CCG.
The best thing about working in the CCG is the people. I feel really lucky that my job enables me to work closely with patients and the public with the aim of improving health care for all.
I live in a village near York with my family. As well as being a very proud mum, I am a bit of an adrenalin freak and can be found rowing across seas and oceans or climbing mountains. I am very passionate about our planet which leads on to my favourite quote:
“There is no Planet B”
Gemma Kierczuk – Senior Engagement Officer
Hello, my name is Gemma Kierczuk.
I’ve worked in the NHS since I was 16, having roles in pharmacy, pathology and medical records while I was studying. I qualified as a Dietitian in 2008 and specialised in mental health, eating disorders and learning disabilities. In 2018, I moved into working in patient engagement. Alongside my role at the CCG, I volunteer as a Patient Representative for NHS England’s Cardiac Services Clinical Reference Group.
The best thing about working in the CCG is having the opportunity to listen to patients’ experiences and share them with decision makers.
I live in West Leeds with my partner, two young children, and two cats. Most of my spare time is spent keeping the five of them entertained! On my non-working days, I also volunteer as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.
“Happiness is a state of mind, so the real source of happiness must lie within the mind, not in external conditions.”
– Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Adam Stewart – Engagement Officer
Hello, my name is Adam Stewart.
I have a keen interest in mental health and I spent seven years working across several mental health hospitals in West Yorkshire. I’ve completed my undergraduate and masters in Human Psychology and Mental Health Practice respectively. Through this work, I developed my interest and passion for patient involvement and its importance; spending three years working as an Involvement Co-ordinator, making sure that service users are involved in all aspects of their care whilst in hospital and that they are heard. I’ve been working for the NHS since 2016 as part of the engagement team.
The best thing about working in the CCG is being able to take what I have learned previously and apply that to a wider context on a much larger scale in a variety of different ways.
I live in the Wetherby area with my partner and two house rabbits (Lily and Cassie). In my spare time, I like to go to live music gigs (Muse are my favourite band), play videogames and ‘treading the boards’ as part of the Wetherby Musical Theatre Group.
“You’ve got to be the best / You’ve got to change the world / And use this chance to be heard / Your time is now.”
– Butterflies & Hurriances, Muse
Andra Szabo – Engagement Officer
Hello, my name is Andra Szabo.
I’m originally from Transylvania, Romania. I moved to UK about 6 years ago to study Peace and Development at University of Bradford. After graduating from university, I worked for the local authority and voluntary sector in social care and mental health services. I’ve started working for the NHS as part of the engagement team in 2018.
The best thing about working in the CCG is knowing that your work can make a difference to patients and people in Leeds.
In my spare time I enjoy exploring the countryside, playing squash, reading and watching comedy shows like Taksmaster.
‘There is no point of being anything other than what you are.’ – E. Gilbert