It is with great sadness that I must tell you that Yvonne Norton died overnight between Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd March 2023. Yvonne had lived with lupus for several decades and experienced worsened health during the past few years. Her death was unexpected, and we do not know the exact cause.
Yvonne Norton was a founding Trustee of LUPUS UK, accepting the role of Vice- Chair in November 1990 and holding the post until she decided to step-down from the Board at the Annual General Meeting in May 2021. Yvonne held several honorary titles within LUPUS UK including Honorary Life Vice-President and Trustee Emeritus. Yvonne was awarded an MBE for her services to healthcare in Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year Honours in 2007.
Yvonne was the Chair of the West Midlands Lupus Group and her cheery voice and supportive nature will be sorely missed by people with lupus who would attend the regular Drop-In meetings. During her time as Chair of the group, West Midlands Lupus Group contributed over £1 million of funds to LUPUS UK!
In an effort to improve education of healthcare professionals, with a particular focus on General Practitioners, Yvonne curated several editions of the LUPUS UK book, “Lupus: Diagnosis & Treatment”. This incredibly detailed book has been provided free-of-charge to healthcare professionals and medical students since its first edition in 2000. The most recent edition, which is a whopping 220 pages, was published in 2020 and is still available.
LUPUS UK’s Centres of Excellence scheme was developed and administered by Yvonne and her husband Peter to recognise high-quality care provided for people with lupus in NHS rheumatology departments. Since the
introduction of the scheme in 2005, 10 hospital departments have been awarded with the acknowledgment and this continues to grow. Yvonne was a champion for good quality care for lupus patients and helped to spread best practice.
Yvonne’s legacy is not restricted to just the UK either. From 2002 to 2008 she was the Chair of Lupus Europe, which brings together lupus patient organisations from across the continent to support one another and have an even greater impact. Yvonne regularly attended international rheumatology and lupus conferences to be a champion for people with lupus.
It is impossible to imagine LUPUS UK or the world without Yvonne. She
has had a massive positive impact on countless lives, and she will be
sorely missed. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all the staff of LUPUS UK, I offer sincere condolences to Peter and the rest of the family.
Paul Howard – Chief Executive of LUPUS UK