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Rachel is a doctor and a policy and operational expert on the NHS, public health and social care. She was one of the first (possibly the first) in the country to publicly argue for the integration of the NHS with social care. At the time she first argued for this change public health was part of the NHS so this would have included this too. She still feels very strongly that a full integration of the NHS and social care would not only be much better for patients, but it would also avoid duplication and gaps in services, thereby being more cost-effective. She also believes that if the health and social care workforce were integrated this could, with proper policies and training programmes, create a more flexible workforce and give a better career structure to both social care staff, helping the burning problem of staff retention in the UK.
Rachel first qualified as a doctor more than thirty years ago and has worked almost continuously for the NHS since then – first as a junior doctor, next a GP. She went on to study further and became a Director of Public Health. She now works as both a Medical Director, responsible for clinical transformation and redesign across a large health system, and also as a Clinical and Professional Director (covering both health and social care). Her passion is in working with other doctors, nurses and social care staff to improve services and to integrate health and social care.
She has worked in some of the most deprived areas in the country and has held board and executive level positions in organisations with budgets of £100 millions. She has been part of a team that turned around an organisation with a very large deficit and at the same time improved the quality of local NHS services. She has successfully worked to establish new heart attack and stroke centres in local hospitals and has turned around a many clinical services, improving outcomes for long term conditions, quality of life, reducing deaths in hospital and increasing cancer survival.
Rachel was also an adviser to the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, from 2007-10, advising on public health. The policy developed would have had a joint public health board across both the NHS and local government, enabling the integration of public health and would have embedded it into both the NHS and lcoal government. Unfortunately, when the coalition came to power the decision was made to transfer it entirely to local government. This has been positive in some ways, but it has again led to fragmentation of local government and NHS policy. Rachel was an envoy for the Faculty of Public Health and the profession during the listening “pause” during the Lansley reforms, and was able to discuss with the civil service better ways that Public Health England could straddle both the NHS and local government and other agencies.
Rachel has also written about the crisis in staffing in the NHS and social care and has argued that more flexible training of staff and gateways to and from social care and the NHS in “apprentice” style on the job training would go a long way to addressing the staffing crisis both services face.
- Campaigner against anti-semitism. Rachel has been involved through personal links to Jewish community and has been active in the campaign against anti-semitism for the past decade. Understanding of this form of racism is poor and unfortunately is an issue that is often endemic in the hard left as well as the hard right, and building public awareness of this threat is something Rachel believes strongly in.
- Rachel has built strong relationships with BME communities including community leaders and contacts with temples and mosques.
International Anti-Genocide Campaigner
Internationally Rachel first became involved when she led and coordinated a number of human rights campaigns against war crimes and treatment of civilians in Sri Lanka. She was involved in a successful campaign for the release of imprisoned doctors in Sri Lanka. She has influenced government policy on Sri Lanka. Her humanitarian campaigning has now extended into anti-genocide awareness campaigns across other parts of the world, including in particular on behalf of minorities in the Middle East; working closely with a number of international humanitarian organisations. She campaigns on women’s rights at home and abroad. She is also a member of a group that campaigns for self-determination of stateless peoples such as the Kurds and Tibetans, and for safe havens for at risk peoples such as the Assyrian Christians.
Other Charitable Work
- Local charitable and social action work has included being a school governor; fundraising and organising events for SSAFA, Mencap and Practical Action; and being a regular volunteer for wildlife organisations including the local Wildlife Trust. She believes in putting hard work into action and has also helped local cub scouts, tweenagers group and PTFAs.
- Successful single issue campaigner – including against over-development and stopping the building of a tower block, obtaining a new stroke centre, changing a bus route and reclaiming a neglected and forgotten local public space.
Rachel’s political experience includes having run for parliament (gaining a large swing), and a previous councillor (complimenting her previous work as a council officer in public health). She as also a local campaign coordinator for Vote Leave and board member of Women for Britain (with her strong commitment to self-determination and democracy she knew she had to put her money where her mouth was and campaign). She believes the UK has a bright future as a global trading nation that will use it’s trading power to champion across the globe better welfare standards for animal husbandry, better environmental protection and better human rights.
“How wonderful that no-one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” Anne Frank, 1929-1945. Diarist.