Rita is co-founder with Jo Fitzgerald of the Personal Health Budget Alliance, and a Director of the Peoplehub Community Interest Company. She works independently to promote a shift in power and decision making closer to people with health problems.
Rita has a life-long commitment to development work, across health and social care, with a particular focus on mental health support. The core of her work is a focus on and belief in the pivotal contribution and perspective of people using support and their families. She integrates this perspective with the views and ideas of key professionals and commissioners.
Rita has created, led and managed service developments through building collaborative relationships across agencies, and has consistently ensured that the voice of individuals with direct experience of using public services is sought out and actioned. Her approach is to encourage developments which recognise and make good use of people’s strengths and skills, as well as addressing their health or social care needs.
As Health lead with In Control, Rita led an influential national developmental programme exploring how the concept of self direction, and the use of personal budgets, can work best in the NHS. She forged a strategic partnership with the Department of Health Personal Health Budget Pilot Team and represented In Control on their Board.
Rita has worked in Local Authority, Voluntary Sector and Health Service settings in a wide range of roles including: Director of mental health commissioning, community mental health centre development lead and Approved Social Worker.