Our board

Our board, consisting of both Executive and Non-Executive Directors, constitutes the governing body of Accelerate. Currently Made up of  five members, the Board is responsible for overseeing Accelerate’s assets and resources and for making sure good management practices are embedded across the organisation.

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.

Alison Hopkins – Executive Director & CEO

Alison Hopkins

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 – Commercial, Business & Operations Director

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.

Kate Denham – Non-Executive

Kate Denham is the former Head of Strategy and Performance, Royal National Institute of the Blind (2015-2017) and Senior Strategy Adviser, Monitor (now NHS Improvement), (2013-2015). She is currently Managing Director of The Public Good Company, advising particularly on strategy, building long-term business models, income generation, commercialisation, growth and service modernisation through technology throughout the public and third sectors. Kate is an experienced board member; she was recently appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport to the Transport Focus Board representing the consumer in national transport issues with a particular focus on accessibility, and was previously a Board Member for St Martin of Tours, providing long term placements for individuals with complex mental health needs (2016-2018) and Healthwatch Croydon, a consumer champion for health and social care (2013-2015).


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.