Meet the team

Micheal Smith | Healthwatch Manager

Micheal moved to Leicester from Lancashire to study at De Montfort University in 1995. After working in the banking sector for 10 years as a Complaints Manager, Micheal began working in outreach and public engagement when he joined the Local... more

Gillian Jillett | Community Outreach Lead – City

Gillian has 8 years’ experience with Healthwatch Leicester and Healthwatch Leicestershire as an Adviser and Executive Assistant. Gillian also worked for 11 years at E.ON UK as Customer Service Advisor, Lead representative and negotiator for Unison in E.ON and also... more

Bryonie Mellor | Community Outreach Lead

Bryonie moved to Leicestershire in 2016, having lived in Scotland for twenty-five years. Before graduating from the University of Dundee with a degree in Social Work in 2014, she had worked for Perth & Kinross Council’s Drug & Alcohol Team,... more

Nazmin Pirbhai | Community Outreach Lead

After graduating from De Montfort University with a degree in Health Studies in 2015, Nazmin has worked in various NHS organisations. Nazmin has worked in various teams including, the Children’s Immunisations Team, Adult Mental Health Team and Brokerage.

More... more

Gemma Barrow | Community Outreach Lead – County

Gemma has over 8 years’ experience working in local Healthwatch and the Local Involvement Network (LINks). Gemma has extensive knowledge working in partnership with statutory, voluntary and community sector organisations and has established close relationships with Health & Social Care... more

Paul Blakey | Deputy Manager

Paul recently (3 October) joined Healthwatch Leicester and Leicestershire as the Deputy Manager, reporting to Michael Smith. In this role, Paul will use the 25+ years experience he has of working within the health and social care sector throughout England.... more

Harsha Kotecha - Chair

I am delighted to introduce the first four members of the Healthwatch Advisory Board for Leicester and Leicestershire – Shireen Bharuchi; Mark Farmer; Colin Norman and Rita Patel.

The... more

Mark Farmer

Mark has lived all over Leicestershire and Leicester, bringing insight into urban and rural health challenges. With a varied professional life across the public and voluntary sector, Mark has a... more

Rita Patel

Rita has lived in Leicester and Leicestershire for 35 years and worked as an NHS Occupational therapist for 15 years.

“Currently I am Vice Chair of Leicester Research Ethics... more

Shireen Bharuchi

Shireen was born and grew up in Leicester before embarking upon a career in healthcare: I have always empathised with patients, whilst understanding the important role the public can play... more