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About us

Our Director

Alicia Ridout is a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered occupational therapist, an active member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), and a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS). She is also a member of the Independent Practice Specialist Section of RCOT in Yorkshire and part of the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub.

Alicia qualified as an occupational therapist at Oxford Brookes University, achieving a merit in a MSc in Professional Health studies at York St John (YSJ) University. She is currently a part time doctoral student at YSJ, exploring digital clinical safety relating to the deployment and use of AI/IoT technologies with older people accessing adult social care occupational therapy services. She has been a clinical safety officer (CSO) for over 8 years, and is part of a local network of CSOs’ working in health, care and commercial organisations.

Alicia also co-created a webapp for occupational therapists during the pandemic to support their use of digital clinical risk management. Funded by the Casson Trust, she has led further developments, discovery work and an 18-month evaluation with Sheffield Hallam University to deploy her webapp, COG-OT+ (Clinical Onboarding Guide for occupational therapists) with students/preceptors. The collaboration partners from the NHS published their first paper in a peer reviewed journal in 2023.

Alicia has a portfolio career including experiences working in the NHS, private healthcare, 3rd sector, Higher Education and commercial sectors. She has worked in national roles, including an Integrated Care System supporting regional service improvement in head and neck cancer services with AHPs and as a strategic improvement coach running a national demonstrator project.

Alicia is also an active member of Rotary, fundraising for local charities and is the Senior Independent Director/Vice Chair of a Social Housing Association Board.

Key roles

Since its set up, Involve Me Digital Health (IMDH) Ltd has worked for Health Education England, the Casson Trust, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Birmingham, and York St John Universities. CSO services are provided to health tech companies via ETHOS Ltd, experts in regulatory support for the health and care technology sector. She also supported the CEO with strategy development, knowledge transfer and research projects at an early stage of the company development.

IMDH provide services to charities, such as the Elizabeth Casson Trust and in partnership with key stakeholders such as South Yorkshire AHP Faculty and a range of third sector organisations.

IMDH work with universities includes public engagement and involvement work, strategic reviews, co-design, and development work on prototype digital tools which are part of a research/innovation programme. Fundamental to this is service improvement work, collaborating with those most affected by change.

Other contracted work has included working with NHS Trusts, facilitating transformation activities and supporting teams to optimise outputs from engagement work.

Alicia mentors and supports a range of colleagues and has set up a CSO peer support group in Leeds. Her vlog on writing a business case can be found on the Elizabeth Casson Trust site here. IMDH is also a member of the LEP funded, York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, based at York St John University Enterprise Centre (

Alicia provides senior level support to the Executive Officer and Board of Trustees in her role which encompasses her programme management, strategic and leadership skills. Supporting the profession is a passion and working for the Trust in this new role is a privilege. 

Elizabeth Casson established the first UK training course an in 1946 set up Dorset House School of occupational therapy in Oxford, where Alicia trained.The Trusts’ stated charitable purpose is “to advance the profession of occupational therapy and support the development of occupational therapists. We do this by commissioning special projects and research and by providing funding for the professional development of occupational therapists”. 

Further information can be found here.

Deputy Programme Lead, Personalised Care and Support, S Yorkshire Integrated Care System, Cancer Alliance. 

Alicia set up and ran a programme of work with Speech and Language Therapists and Dietetics staff in the region. She utilised an appreciative enquiry approach, working collaboratively, to explore the challenges across the regions pathway for assessing, treating and monitor patients’ rehabilitation/recovery, post laryngectomy surgery and/or radiotherapy interventions.

She also worked with 3rd sector organisations to support delivery of a champions network and mentored members of the wider team in the application of digital clinical safety/risk management practices.

Alicia led the team that co-designed, developed and ran MindWell Leeds, a ground-breaking mental health website which won multiple awards.

She won the Chief Allied Health Professionals Officer inaugural Digital Innovator of the year in 2017 in recognition of this work. She is the inventor of LOOP, Leeds open online platform, which was developed to a citywide prototype to improve the back-end management of self-management information for staff and citizens, supporting the early use of Open Referral data standard.

Alicia led programmes of work such as OurGP for the Scottish Government and many SBRI and NIHR research and development projects working directly with citizens and staff.

HEIF funded programme of work from early-stage idea generation/research team development to impact generation and REF support. Alicia successfully set-up and ran a 3-year programme which helped to leverage a multimillion-pound portfolio of work.

She led the creation, with a colleague, of LeedsACTS! (academic collaboration with the 3rd sector in Leeds) which won awards and continues to this day, supporting seed funding and citizen focused collaborations in the city.

She chaired an MRC Advisory group and carried out funded work with carers with a Northern Eight (N8) academic team.

This project tested a new, prototype theory of change model, developed by the University of Birmingham IMPACT programme, to increase the use of evidence in adult social care improvement projects, using co-production. Leeds Demonstrator project, the only one in England, focuses on supporting the Leeds City Council commissioners, collaborating with partners in health and the third sector.

The additional resource enables dedicated time and effort to work alongside colleagues to add value to change programmes and develop new ways of spreading adoption of evidence. Leeds work to procure a new home care model called the

Community Health and Wellbeing Service, catalysed service user and care involvement in improvements, ready for the new deployment and scaling in the future. This work uses a UK wide network of coaches who work together to embed learning nationally and internationally. More about the work of IMPACT can be found here


Awards and Presentations

  • 2022 World Federation of Occupational Therapists conference, Paris, poster presentation of the COG-OT proof-of-concept project with novice OTs
  • 2022 FCI Academic conference e-poster presentations i) COG-OT+ Competency Mapping work and ii) Use of the NASSS-CAT with an Innovate UK COVID19 response funded smart wristband deployment with University of Leeds
  • 2022 RCOT Conference presentation: Critical Discourse – The application of competency frameworks to occupational therapy digital practice: mission impossible?
  • 2022 NHS Digital CSO Community of Practice Key note (May): Innovation & Clinical Safety: it’s a mission. And its personal.
  • 2021 OT Show poster presentation: COG-OT development and deployment impacts
  • 2021 Casson Trust Research Award to support evaluation of COG-OT+ : A support package for novice OTs across their first year in practice
  • 2021 Sheffield Hallam University Educators Conference AHPs: presentation COG-OT
  • 2021 FCI Academic Conference e-poster winner for COG-OT animation of the project
  • 2021 RCOT Tunstall Innovation Award for COG-OT
  • 2020 Casson Trust COVID 19 response funding for proof-of-concept COG-OT
  • Fellowship of Faculty of Informatics
  • 2018 World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) conference, Cape Town, S Africa poster presentations: i) Use of the Kawa Model in BRIGHT Trial (NIHR:15/166) and ii) OT Co-design work SBRI funded ‘Let Me Show You’ app for disabled young people.
  • 2018 Casson Trust funding award to attend WFOT conference
  • 2017 CAHPO Digital Innovator of the year

Used with kind permission of RCOT 2022