Involvement with SKIP and becoming its first Patron
When Vice Dean of the University of Wales College of Medicine (1999-2005), she became involved in supporting student volunteers and went with students to work in an orphanage in Belarus.
With some of the students she worked with, she became a founder of SKIP. The name has a dual meaning – Students for Kids International Project – and because happy children skip and unhappy children don’t.
Independent Chair of the National Mental Capacity Forum (Ministry of Justice, Dept. of Health and NHS Wales) from Sept 2015; Chair of National Council for Palliative Care from 2015; President of British Medical Association 2014-15.
Hon. Professor of Palliative Medicine, Cardiff University; Lead Palliative Care Clinician (Wales): set up 7-day services with consultant advice 24/7, with patient/carer feedback & audit of end of life care.
Also President of the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy. National Vice President of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Past President of the Royal Society of Medicine and past visiting Prof. the Netherlands and Australia. Welsh Woman of the Year 1996-97; 2008 ‘Woman Peer of the Year’; 2007 Parliamentary Charity Champion.
Set up internationally renowned Cardiff Diploma in Palliative Medicine (now e-learning MSc). Chaired Royal College of General Practitioners Commission on Medical Generalism. Co-Chair Living & Dying Well think-tank. Elected member BMA Medical ethics committee.
House of Lords: Crossbench Peer since 2001; active in tobacco control (tobacco advertising ban, smoking in public places , smoking in cars with children present ban, standardised packaging of tobacco), children’s rights, restored the post of Chief Coroner, recently revised coronial inquest requirements for patients under deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisation.
Also chaired Science & Technology Committee Allergy inquiry. Served on Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Committee. Took through sunbed regulation and handling of complaints by the NHS Ombudsman to both become Acts of Parliament.
Currently taking the Access to Palliative Care Bill through Parliament.