Alyson has worked in the public, private and voluntary sector for over 30 years. She has over 9 years board level experience and is currently the National Director of Altogether Better, an NHS national network organization whose interest lies in transforming the relationship between citizens and services. Alyson is Co-Lead of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP Primary Care workstream on Self –Care and is a founding member of the National Social Prescribing Steering Group. She believes a sustainable solution to the challenges faced by the NHS lies in improving the quality of our relationship with people in communities and working together to do things differently. Altogether Better (www.altogetherbetter.org.uk) have developed an award winning evidenced based approach, working with over 25,000 volunteer health champions who draw on their own assets and resources to improve health & wellbeing and service outcomes. Using a system’s model of organisation development and an evidenced-based health champion approach to citizen involvement, Altogether Better have prototyped and scaled a radical system intervention which slowly, gently and subversively allows the system and the population they serve to co-evolve. The work has been both exciting and challenging, taking Altogether Better, health service staff and champions into new territory- into a space between the formal world of organisations and the informal lifeworld of citizens. The work has been stretching and testing, requiring a different way of seeing the world, a new set of skills, behaviours and language when working in the ‘liminal’ space at the boundary between the two worlds. It is a way of working which is very different from the traditional NHS approach
Alyson has worked with more than 130 GP practices in 24 CCGs across the country (as well as internationally) introducing an intervention designed to enable primary care and the population they serve to co-evolve together.
Altogether Better were one of the first winners of the Prime Ministers Big Society Award and winners of the College of Medicine Innovation in Self- care Award. Alyson was voted by the HSJ as one of the top 50 inspirational women leaders in the NHS in 2013 and commended by the judges who said “Community empowerment is going to be important in the NHS and Alyson is a visionary”.