Catching up with Kate Pieroudis
Kate Pieroudis joined TLAP as the new Co-Production Advisor. She brings a wealth of experience of supporting co-production, equality and inclusion from her previous roles at SCIE, Disability Rights UK and the Stroke Association as well as personal experience of mental health services. Kate lives in London with a hefty collection of vinyl records and books. NCAG put some questions to her to help get to know her and her ambitions for the role.
What do you think is the main challenge facing TLAP and NCAG at the moment?
One of the challenges will be how we continue to champion co-production and person-centred care and support as funds are tightened and we have to keep being responsive to the COVID19 pandemic.
What are your ambitions for NCAG?
I want to build on the great work already happening so that NCAG can continue to make a difference for people who access health and care services. For example, the weekly conversations with the Department of Health about self-directed support and personal budgets, both what’s happening during the pandemic and life beyond it. I want to strengthen NCAG’s influence on the policy work that TLAP is known for, working in partnership with the TLAP team, thinking strategically and developing leadership in this area.
Why does co-production matter?
Co-production has the power to transform the way services are created and delivered. By putting people who access services at the heart of creating them and through people who work in services sharing power with citizens, we’re more likely to get services that are fit for purpose and meet people’s needs and less likely to waste resources. The people closest to the problems are closest to the solutions.
COVID19 has been devastating for some communities, eroding livelihoods and increasing existing isolation and health and social care inequalities, particularly among BAME groups. On the flip side, I’ve also seen the way communities react and respond with a spirit of togetherness to support those in most need to harness strengths that already exist in the community and find alternative ways to meet, share ideas and co-produce.
Someone who’s inspired you?
American playwright Tennessee Williams is a hero of mine. He fled bigotry, homophobia and isolation and headed to New Orleans, a place that has always attracted and welcomed people on the margins of society. There, he created plays and stories that changed the world with universal themes of love, loss, identity and family and opened my seventeen-year-old eyes to the world.
The place you feel happiest
My spiritual home is New Orleans, Louisiana. I DJ music from there and I love the energy - music is everywhere and the place is the definition of rebirth and rejuvenation, having endured racism, segregation and hurricanes. People do so much with so little - I’m truly humbled by the way people organise themselves to support each other. Community is everything there. I can also dance and eat amazing food at any time day or night. That’s my kind of place!