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New patient representative joins as NJR Steering Committee member


The NJR (National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man) is delighted to welcome a new patient representative, who joined the NJR Steering Committee on 1st October 2015. The NJR Steering Committee is responsible for the work and strategic direction of the world’s largest joint replacement registry.

Gillian Coward is a hip replacement patient who has been living with rheumatoid arthritis for many years. As well as having personal experience of joint replacement surgery and conditions that commonly require such procedures, Gillian has since 2006 gained extensive experience working with other patients through her role as an Arthritis Care self-management trainer. She has also delivered seminars on post-operative hand and wrist splinting after joint replacement, from a patient’s perspective, for the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown. She takes up the post in the stead of long-standing patient representative Mary Cowern for a three-year term. 
NJR Chairman Laurel Powers-Freeling said: “I look forward to working with Gillian over the coming years. Having patient representatives with direct experience of joint replacement surgery as part of our committee is of real benefit. I am sure that Gillian’s experience and insights will be of great value in guiding the committee’s work. It is the committee’s role to ensure that the NJR achieves its vision – working to protect patient safety and to drive forward quality in joint replacement surgery – and I know that Gillian shares our commitment to this goal.”
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing patient representative Mary Cowern for her significant contribution over the past nine years. She has been a powerful asset for the NJR and fundamental in ensuring patients are front and centre of the National Joint Registry’s work.”
Of the appointment, Gillian Coward said: "I am very pleased to be joining the NJR Steering Committee whose work ensures the highest standards in the field of joint replacement surgery across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. It is impressive that the voice of the patient has always been important to the NJR and I am grateful for the opportunity to join the team."
The NJR Steering comprises the following stakeholders: 
  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Patients
  • NHS and independent healthcare providers
  • Allied health professional
  • Public health/Epidemiology and
  • Industry representatives (orthopaedic implant suppliers)

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