About Claire Allen
The NHS has had an involvement throughout Claire’s life. She was born with the genetic condition hypochondroplasia and so spent much her early childhood years visiting the amazing paediatric team at York and Sheffield hospitals. Inspired by the team she met her she initially embarked on a career in medicine herself and started Liverpool Medical School in 2000 with hopes of becoming a doctor. During her time here she spent her elective period in Uganda working at a small community hospital there. Unfortunately, she had a severe mental health episode and was unable to complete the training but later qualified to become a secondary school biology teacher.
This did however lead to a life-long experience of the mental health services the NHS offers and Claire is incredibly grateful to the NHS workers who have helped her to live her life. In 2014, Claire decided on a career change to give something back to the NHS which has supported her and she became a mental health peer support worker in the CMHT.
Alongside working for the NHS now, Claire actively campaigns for improvements in mental health care, in particular working alongside ‘Leeds Involving People’ and the local mental health partnership board to ensure crisis care is first class in Leeds. Recently she became the crisis care patient champion for the Leeds area.
Spending some time in the USA and experiencing healthcare there has made Claire ever more determined to spread the excellent work of the NHS and promote the positive service it offers to people in the UK which is what led her to be involved in this campaign. As she says ‘the NHS has been there to pick me up many times, I am determined to make sure it is there for many generations to come’.