We have three members of staff and are led by an elected board of volunteer trustees, who are endorsed by our member organisations.
Neurological Alliance staff
Georgina Carr, Chief Executive
Georgina joined the Alliance in January 2020. Prior to her role at the Neurological Alliance, Georgina was with the MS Society for over six years, overseeing their work to improve MS treatment, care and support. Georgina was also a member of the European MS Platform Executive Committee and MS International Federation Access to Medicines working group, working closely with neurological organisations across the world to improve care. Georgina has a close connection to MS, and is passionate about raising the bar of neurological treatment, care and support across the country. Prior to working at the UK MS Society, Georgina worked on EU health policy for the consultancy Burson Marsteller.
Katharine McIntosh, Policy and External Affairs Manager (currently on maternity leave)
Katharine joined the Neurological Alliance in January 2018. She has a background in neurology related health policy, having previously held policy roles at the MS Society and Epilepsy Society. She also has an in-depth knowledge of welfare and employment issues affecting disabled people. Prior to completing her Masters degree in social policy, Katharine worked as an IAPT employment support coordinator in the mental health field. She continues to volunteer as a trustee at a local Mind association, and became the Chair in March 2017.
Judy Abel, Policy and External Affairs Manager (maternity cover)
Judy is providing maternity cover while Katharine is away on maternity leave. She has worked for more than 12 years in the health sector, including as Public Information Manager at the British Medical Association, and was Manager of the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group from 2015 to 2018. Judy was also temporary manager of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition in 2017 and, most recently, held a senior policy role at Asthma UK.
Caroline Davies, Administrator
Caroline Joined the Alliance in October 2019 after a career in higher education, working for the Open University and Universities of Northampton and Hertfordshire. Caroline has recently completed a Masters in Writing Poetry. She works part-time for the Alliance as the administrator.
Neurological Alliance Board of Trustees 2019–20
Suzanne Dobson, Chief Executive, Tourettes Action (Chair)
Suzanne has been Chief Executive of three charities, the National Childbirth Trust, BLISS and for the last five years Tourettes Action. Since being involved with Tourettes Action Suzanne has become aware of the gaping holes in provision for all people living with neurological conditions and is keen to work with the Alliance to ensure that neurological services are available to a high standard and across all areas of the UK. People living with neurological conditions seem to have been overlooked within the health service and she is passionate about redressing the balance. Suzanne was elected as Chair of the Neurological Alliance in November 2016.
David Martin, CEO, MS Trust (Vice Chair)
David Martin became the CEO of the MS Trust in December 2017 where he has prioritised increasing the number of MS nurses so that everyone with Multiple Sclerosis can access good quality specialist care. His work at the leading disability charity Papworth Trust, the Care and Support Alliance and at the BBC focused on improving communications to increase each organisation’s impact and effectiveness by raising the profile, awareness and understanding of key complex issues. David believes there is potential to better use the collective voice of the Alliance so that neurology services have a higher priority in the NHS.
Sue Millman, Chief Executive, Ataxia UK
Sue has been Chief Executive of Ataxia UK since May 2007. The ataxias are a set of degenerative, life-limiting, conditions for which there are no cures affecting around 10,000 adults in the UK. Ataxia UK funds medical research to find treatments and cures and provides support. She has been CEO of various charities for over 25 years, with a long track record of representing service user interests to government and policy makers. She is a member of the NHS England Specialised Services Patient and Public Voices Assurance Group. At Ataxia UK she has focused on forging research partnerships with ataxia charities, particularly in Europe, the US and Australia; and encouraging pharmaceuticals to develop an interest in the ataxias.
Caroline Morrice, Director, Guillain-Barre and Associated Neuropathies (Treasurer)
Caroline joined the Guillain-Barre Syndrome Support Group in 2007 and worked with the Board of Trustees to develop the charity’s business plan, culminating in the rebranding and conversion to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2014. She is committed to the work of the Neurological Alliance and to being part of a Board that represents all neurological conditions giving a voice to the smaller charity and raising the profile of neurology. Previously she worked in the public sector, covering protocol, business and financial planning and latterly as a government internal auditor.
Ralph Gregory, Consultant Neurologist, Association British Neurologists
Ralph became a Consultant Neurologist in 1992 and works for the Dorset Neurology Service. The Neurology Centre is based at Poole Hospital and also covers Dorchester and Bournemouth Hospitals. Prior to moving to Dorset in 2009 he was based in Reading and was also the Neurologist for the Functional Neurosurgery Programme in the Regional Neuroscience Centre in Oxford. He therefore has experience of service delivery in the DGH, neurology centre and regional unit. He is a general neurologist with a sub-specialty interest in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He is also the Clinical Director for Specialty Medicine at Poole. His first links with the Neurological Alliance were with the West Berkshire Branch in the 1990’s. This was when he first realised the important role that the Alliance could play in increasing public and Government awareness of all neurological diseases. In 2011 he was elected Honorary Secretary to the Association of British Neurologists and in 2015 became Chair of the ABN Services and Standards Committee. During this time the working relationship between the ABN and the Alliance has become stronger, which further benefit for people with neurological disorders. When his term of office came to an end in 2018, he offered his services to the Alliance and was co-opted to the Board of Trustees. He is married to a Dermatologist and has four sons who are no longer on his payroll.
David Garmon-Jones, Chairman, Decideum
David Garmon-Jones spent 35 years in pharmaceuticals; mostly with Merck KGaA (1983–2015) and more latterly with Medday (2017–2018). For 10 years – as Country Manager – David worked with three different products for MS, operating for half that time in the UK & Ireland and the rest in Australia & New Zealand. Additionally, David spent two years as NED at Bucks NHS Trust and was a trustee at Bowel Cancer UK. Currently, David is doing a part-time interim assignment for Sobi in Cambridge as well as working as a part-time consultant for Decideum and the Neurology Academy. David is married with two grown-up children and lives in Marlow, South Bucks.
Pamela Mackenzie, Executive Director of Neurological Services and Scotland, Sue Ryder
Pamela leads Sue Ryder’s neurological operations across the UK, with 28 years’ experience as a nurse and a wealth of experience in senior management positions in both health and social care settings. Pamela passionately believes that people with neurological conditions should be supported to live their lives as fully as possible, and is excited to help the Neurological Alliance in its crucial role bringing people together to drive real improvements.
Amanda Swain, Vice Chair and Policy & Commissioning Liaison, UKABIF
Amanda has worked in many sectors as a clinical specialist in ABI and Neurology for over 25 years; she has led development of neurological rehabilitation services in four counties of England and in five countries. She has worked as a national lead or contributor to standards and audit of rehabilitation provision for the top authorities in England and New Zealand. Amanda holds a Masters in Health Laws and has been advising on health and social care legislative interpretation and implementation for over 15 years. Amanda also acts as independent advocate for people needing support to obtain the treatment, rehabilitation or social care that they need and are entitled to. Amanda is Vice Chair and Policy & Commissioning Liaison for UKABIF, she re-joins the board of the Neurological Alliance after a year away.
Chris James, Director of External Affairs, MND Association
Chris’ role at the MND Association covers all aspects of the Association’s policy and campaigning work. This includes overseeing the Association’s campaigning work in health care, social care and the benefits system. In addition, he takes the lead on policy work in end of life and palliative care sitting on the End of Life Coalition. He is a member of the Association’s Clinical Advisory Board. Prior to joining the MND Association he worked extensively in the voluntary sector in areas such as haemophilia, mental health and diabetes. He believes very strongly in the role of the voluntary sector to add value to statutory services and in working closely with providers and commissioners to provide high quality services. He have recently been elected as a patient representative on NNAG.
Angie Pullen, Epilepsy Services Manager, Epilepsy Action
Angie joined the Neurological Alliance Board of Trustees in November 2019. Angie’s role at Epilepsy Action involves working to improve services for people with epilepsy and managing a helpline, a web based information service, a research portfolio and projects to improve NHS services. Angie has Masters degrees in Public Health and Organisation Development a degree in Social Science and qualifications in personnel management, training and project management. Angie is a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnnel and Development MCIPD. Angie was Deputy Chair of Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group and lay member for patient and public involvement, a patient and public voice representative on NHS England’s Neurosciences Clinical Reference Group and the Place-based Commissioning Programme Board. Previously Angie managed service improvement projects for the National CAMHS Support Service, the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Partnership, and was Head of Staff Development for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Marc Smith, Chief Executive, Brain and Spine Foundation
Marc joined the Neurological Alliance Trustee Board in November 2019 with a particular interest in helping the Alliance drive a collaborative data and improved information agenda that serves all those in the UK affected by a neurological condition. Marc brings over 30 years of commercial experience working in global advertising, marketing and communications agencies. He has been CEO of The Brain & Spine Foundation, the UK’s only pan-neurology information charity, since January 2019. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, a teacher, and have their now-all-grown-up family nearby.
Dr Arani Nitkunan MA (Cantab), MBBS, FRCP (Neurol), PhD
Dr Nitkunan joined the Neurological Alliance Trustee Board in September 2020. She studied at Newnham College, Cambridge and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London graduating in 1999.
She was awarded a PhD for stroke research at St George’s Hospital, London in 2007. Dr Nitkunan was appointed as a consultant neurologist in 2013 with general neurology clinics at Croydon University Hospital and a specialist neuro-ophthalmology clinic at St George’s. Her two sub-specialist areas are stroke and neuro-ophthalmology. She was appointed clinical lead for neurology at Croydon in 2015 where she has transformed acute neurology and driven the appointment of five nurse specialists. She is a council member of the Association of British Neurologists from 2018 and was appointed chair of the Southwest London Neurology Network in 2019.
Katherine Crawford, Director of Services, Parkinson’s UK
Katherine joined Parkinson’s UK in 2004, and has worked in a variety of roles including support work with people living with Parkinson’s, to involvement in campaigning and influencing for service improvement for people affected. Prior to her work with Parkinson’s UK, Katherine was a qualified solicitor. Katherine sits on Parkinson’s UK’s executive team, leading on delivery of Parkinson’s UK’s information and support services, local networks of volunteer lead activities and the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, the charity’s platform to drive up standards of health care for people affected through workforce development, collaborating and sharing clinical expertise and best practice and through a powerful Audit tool, which combines clinical self audit with a patient audit. Passionate about ensuring that people affected receive the right care and support, in all settings – Katherine is committed to using the combined resources of the neurological community to improve services across the country.