Alison is a graduate in Russian who ran international development projects mainly in the countries most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former USSR.
Her career was cut short when she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following the death of her colleagues who were killed in the course of her work in Belarus. The consequences included homelessness, substance misuse, multiple admissions to hospital and identity loss.
She resolved early on to put her experiences to good use and in the process started to reconnect with the assets that being a passive recipient of care had frozen. She now advises NHS, housing and social care organisations on how to work in genuinely equal partnership with citizens. She is a frequent speaker at conferences, creates and facilitates innovative workshops for patients, carers and professionals and writes for publication. She was a member of the Expert Advisory Group which informed the Secretary of State for Health on the set up of HSIB, the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.
She has worked all over the UK including in her hometown of Aberdeen, and she has also presented overseas at the Stanford University MedX conference, and at a World Health Organisation conference in Lille on Citizenship in Mental Health.
In 2014 she was named by the Health Service Journal as one of 50 Inspirational Women in Health and in 2015 was the first patient leader to graduate from the NHS Leadership Academy with a Post Graduate qualification in Healthcare Leadership.