Meet our Board

Our Board bring their skills, advice and scrutiny to Accelerate and play an important part in our development.

Our Board members are non-executives and sit alongside our executive team and elected member representatives.

Dr Helen Glenister

Dr Helen Glenister, Chair

Helen has a nursing background and has spent 30 years working within and with the NHS in acute hospital, primary care, mental health, community and commissioning settings. Throughout her career she has held positions which have combined clinical, leadership, research and business development experiences. Educated to PhD and MBA levels, Helen had a key role in establishing the National Patient Safety Agency, where she was Director of Safer Practice and Deputy Chief Executive. She has undertaken work with WHO on quality of care and safer practice solutions. Helen has worked with the private sector to deliver health care improvement and health and wellness programmes to commissioners and providers. An important element of this work has been technology and working with providers to get the most out of technology. Helen has held executive Board positions for 20 years in the NHS, Department of Health, and private sector, and is a Trustee of Isobel Hospice, Welwyn.

Liam Cahill

Liam Cahill, Non-Executive

Liam is the CEO of a consultancy that supports new ways of working and digital transformation in the health and social sector. Before this he was co-founder and COO of PrescQIPP CIC, an NHS funded social enterprise that produces national prescribing policy. In previous roles he has worked within the NHS offering strategic advice and implementation expertise within primary care and public health, and on a national IT rollout. Liam is passionate about 'positively disrupting' the status quo of how health can be delivered, utilising technologies and practices that help build sustainable platforms and processes for change. In his non-executive role with Accelerate Liam will look to bring this mindset to the board, helping the organisation to grow, whilst retaining its innovative and highly motivated style of high quality care.

Picture of Carole Crawford

Carole Crawford, Director of Finance

Carole is a qualified accountant gaining both finance and commercial experience from a wide variety of business entities Corporate, Mid-Tier, SME’s, Entrepreneurial and Family owned business as well as Charity and Social Enterprise. She is industry agnostic and has significant experience in B2B, B2C, Manufacturing, Distribution, Import-export, Wholesale, Retail and Online Sales.

Carole focuses on what drives business success; through cash and profit generation, performance drivers, KPI’s, metrics, processes and people accountability. Currently working with a variety of clients on portfolio /strategic project to delivery Funding, Exit Plans, Agility, Scale-Up and Transformation.

In recent years, has become involved in projects involving healthcare, social enterprise and spin outs from the NHS and Local Authorities. With over 25 years’ Executive board experience is now applying that experience in two Non-executive roles both within Healthcare, Spin-outs and Social Enterprise. She will bring a commercial focus to Accelerate which will help shape informed decision making as well as working towards strategic objectives.

Kate Denham

Kate Denham, Non-Executive

Kate Denham is currently Group Head of Strategy and Performance for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). Kate was previously a senior policy advisor at Monitor (the health sector regulator), and before that, held strategy consulting roles focusing on local government and health. Outside of the 'day job' Kate sits on the Board of St Martin of Tours, a London based housing association offering transitional placements for people with complex mental health needs. She previously sat on the Board of Healthwatch in Croydon. In her free time Kate loves cooking and eating out.

Alison Hopkins, Chief Executive

Alison is Accelerate CIC’s first CEO. She led the team’s Right to Request in 2011 resulting in the set-up of Accelerate CIC as an independent organisation, the best route to developing this specialist wound and lymphoedema care service for NHS patients. She has specialised in wound care since 1989 and has an MSc in Psychology and Health. She first joined Tower Hamlet’s District Nursing Service in 1986 setting up the leg ulcer service in 1989. As a Tissue Viability Nurse she was mentored by the late Professor Gerry Bennett, founder of the East London Wound Healing Centre. The British Journal of Nursing awarded Alison ‘Tissue Viability Nurse of the Year, 2013’. Alison oversees the smooth running of the organisation and its development as well as continuing to provide clinical care to patients. She also contributes to the development of the field, writing in academic journals and speaking at conferences.

Christine O’Connor, Director of Operations

Christine joined Accelerate CIC in 2015 to head up operations and corporate services development. Christine has provided support to Accelerate as an external adviser since the decision to spin out in 2011. She brings with her a wealth of experience from her role as a Managing Partner in a GP Practice to Director of Clinical Commissioning in Redbridge. Christine has worked extensively in change management with the NHS and created one of the first clinical leadership programmes developed specifically for GPs.