Patient Participation Group Pen Portraits

Updated on 7th March 2013 at 11:43 am





Craig Harold: Background. I was born in North Staffordshire, enlisted into the British Army in 1978, serving over 23 years as a Military Engineer in the Corps of Royal Engineers. I was posted, in a support role, to a Territorial Army unit in 19994 and settled permanently in the North East in 2001 after gaining civilian employment at Northumbria University working as a member of the Facilities Management Team.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2011 and due to the day to day impact of MS fatigue on my cognitive and mobility capability retired from full time employment in 2014. I have two adult children; currently tip toeing their way through life and making their individual way in the World.

Career Overview

Northumbria University 2001/2014. Chairman – NEUPG, Domestic Services Commodity Group, Support Staff Member of the University Board of Governors, day-to-day management of 150 University support staff. These were organised into a number of teams covering Facilities Support activities across the University estate in residential, academic and administrative buildings.

HM Forces 1978/2001. Various UK based postings and Operational Tours of duty including; Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Brunei, Kenya, Canada, Gibraltar, Falkland Island, Balkans and throughout North West Europe. As example: NATO Peace Keeping throughout Kosovo in 2001; responsible for the day-to-day supervision and management of a multifunctional logistic and administration support team.

Relevant Experience. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2011, Type 2 Diabetes in 2014 and continue to positively meet the challenges associated with these diseases and other health conditions throughout all aspects of my life. As example; I have, since diagnosis, come in to contact with the range of NHS and voluntary sector support services; my personal experiences have underpinned my existing knowledge of Institutional Guidance and Statutory Regulation, (Equality Act etc.).

I have experience of supporting staff that have had a range of life challenges, including; MS, Motor Neurons Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Cancer, special needs and other physical and mental health conditions. My contact with and support for staff with such life challenges were continual from their first day of absence through to Occupational Health referrals and, on occasion, all Tiers of Ill Health Retirement. Also, where reasonable and practical, the implementation of adjustments, amendment of task method statements and outcome expectations related to H&S Assessments, (COSHH, Risk and Manual Handling etc.).

During my time at Northumbria University I had to implement and manage change and overcome subsequent conflicts as they occurred. This involved listening to opinions, rationalising disagreements with revised policy, achieving compromise and developing the most appropriate way forward.

Conclusion. I am confident that, by the application of ‘’life’s lessons learnt’’ and experience gained, I can benefit the collective goals of the group and that can actively support the group achieve positive outcomes to the challenges ahead.


Maria Mason:  I was born in Tuscany, Italy and have been married for 56 years.  I have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.  I am a retired nurse.   I also taught italian at evening classes.  I am now doing occasional work as an interpreter mainly in medical situations. 

I have been a patient at this practice for 54 years.


LEIGH DAVIDSON: I was born in Basingstoke Hampshire, and now live in Northumberland Park, West Allotment, where I have been for the past 8 years and live with William my Civil Partner for 24 yrs.


I have retired at the age of 54 last year for medical reasons. I have worked in the UK and the USA. My main expertise as a Senior Computer Technical Services Consultant involved various duties from Fixing Email Servers and Delivering Microsoft Packages and Disaster Recovery Consultant. My last 11 years was working as HR Business Administrator, and Regional Disabled and Diversity Officer for a major Blue Chip Company.


My main reason for the interest for this, was that I have been in hospital quite a bit and have seen some rare sights and excellent NHS Doctors and Nurses etc struggling with cuts. Being born with a rare Neuro conditions and Heart condition, Mitrocondrial Myopathy and Periodic Paralysis and Diabetic, hopefully with my expertise and background I can bring something to Northumberland Park Medical Group Team Members.