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Who We Are In The Patient Group

PETER BERMAN (Chair)

I have lived in Wiveliscombe since 1977 when I became Chief Executive of Taunton Deane Borough Council.  After retirement I have taken an active interest in the NHS, serving on the Taunton Deane Primary Group and the Trust for seven years.  I was also on the Panel of a Department of Health Inquiry into the failure to prevent a GP in Kent from carrying out assaults on patients over a 20 year period. I believe strongly that as many medical services as possible should be delivered within local communities.

Locally, I have been a Parish Councillor since 1995 and a Governor of the Primary School for nearly twenty years. I was also the founder Secretary of the Twinning Association and Civic Society and was a Director of Wiveliscombe Area Partnership until 2011.

JOHN BONE

I have lived and worked at Waterrow since 1965 running the family farm & accommodation business.  I have two grown up children who both attended Stawley Primary School and Kingsmead.  I am a former Independent Taunton Deane Borough Councillor for the Ward of Wiveliscombe & West Deane, and a  Member of the Wiveliscombe Town Hall Trust.  I am interested in travel, gardening, reading & the arts.

CHRISTINE BROOKER

I am a Wiveliscombe girl, nee Watts, and lived at the Gas Works.  I went to the local primary school, was in the church choir, was chairman of the tennis club at one time and helped in getting the first hard courts laid.  I went to college at Weston Super Mare and did a bilingual sercretarial course and afterwards found a job in 'Milverton' for a travel company specialising in holidays in Spain.  After living in France for several years my husband and I came back to Wiveliscombe where we are now living at Lower Langley.  In 2002 I skied the Ladies Engadine cross country half marathon and raised £1800 for Lister House Surgery towards a defibrillator.  I now organise the team of volunteer drivers who transport the drugs every day between Wiveliscombe and Milverton surgeries.  I joined the Patient Group because I was interested in helping our local medical practice.

BARRY WITHERDEN

Until retirement from full-time work I was employed at the Charity Commission, first in London , then Taunton .  For several years I’ve been a freelance reviewer for various music magazines. In 1998 I founded the Wiveliscombe Writers Group. I’ve been heavily involved with Cinema Obscura for many years, and am currently Treasurer. I founded and organised the Wiveliscombe Festival of Silent Cinema, which ran for 5 years. Funds permitting, I’ll revive it in 2013: meanwhile, I provide free shows of silent films for Pulsford Lodge and the Primary School. Other ways I pass the time include being a presenter and director with 10 Radio, a volunteer advocate with Advocacy in Mind at Mind in Taunton & West Somerset since 2009, and a Parish/Town Councillor since 2010. Previous voluntary work included stints with the Notting Hill Housing Trust, the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, and 10 years with Centrepoint Soho, starting in the Shaftesbury Avenue emergency night-shelter and ending as a trustee. In 1988 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition which has led to further problems: consequently I have to attend the surgery on a regular basis, so am well-placed to understand issues important to both patients and the practice.

MARGARET PRIOR

I was born in Wivey, attended Wivey Primary School and then Bishop Fox's Girls' Grammar School in Taunton.  I worked in Civil Service, left Wivey when married and worked in the Entertainment industry. I stayed at home from the time my son was born until he started school, then went into Local Government, working in benefits - and also worked with DSS.

I returned to my home town in 1994, worked for a local vet and in a paper shop until I became a full time carer for 8 years.  I am now retired.

I do voluntary work as part of the RSVP and I am a trustee of the Community Centre and a member of the Horticultural Society.

JENNY HOYLE

Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, I was a teacher for several years, before the birth of our son. After leaving teaching I joined Taunton Deane Council, first within the Planning Department, then as Tourism Officer, before becoming Town Centre Manager for Taunton.  

I have been a local Magistrate for twenty-six years, and recently have become a Trustee of a  charity called Benchmark, which aims to divert vulnerable young people from crime

We have lived in Milverton for almost 40 years, and I have been a Parish Councillor for many years. My husband and I enjoy the village community as well as the environment which surrounds it.  We have been involved in many of the village activities, from Twinning to Am-Dram.

I am firmly committed to our Primary Health care provision and aim to try to act as a link between the practice and all of the users.  

MARY BULFIELD

I trained as a nurse in the Army many years ago, followed by Staff Nursing on wards and in the Operating Theatres at Charing Cross Hospital, then worked as a Practice Nurse and a Doctors Secretary.  After marriage I stayed at home to raise three children, and then cared for my Father in law who had Alzheimers.  My last part time job was at the Lister Hospital on Chelsea Bridge.  We moved to Wiveliscombe nine years ago and settled here,  Sadly my husband died one year ago.

ILANA ALDER

I moved from London to Somerset in 1986 with my husband and our 3 children. I initially ran a catering business from home, and then at the age of 40 re-trained via an Access course at SCAT and a 4 year degree course in Cardiff to become a Registered Dietitian.  I started work at Musgrove Park Hospital in 1995 and remained there till my retirement in 2013, specialising in 2 contrasting areas: nutritional support and weight management.

My experience of the NHS is both as an employee, and later as a patient when I developed a life threatening illness in 2007.  Both of these episodes confirmed my strong belief in the NHS system, the dedication of it’s staff, and it’s ability to provide the best healthcare, despite the current difficulties that it is facing. 

I am very pleased that through the patient group I can maintain my connection with the NHS, and be involved in helping the local community get the best service from their GP practice.

BARRY FITZPATRICK

I've lived in Halse for 30 years, through my retirement from Multi-National corporation Procter & Gamble, into running a Bed & Breakfast and small-holding. I have a wife, 3 children and 6 grandchildren, and I'm interested in wildlife and the countryside as well as information technology. I'm a patient and a carer, getting plenty of involvement with both surgeries over the years, and while appreciating the excellent service provided by the doctors and staff, I'm very enthusiastic to help in making that service even better in the future.

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