Karen Howell has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2023 in recognition of her services to Health.
Karen is currently the Chief Executive of Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and has enjoyed a career spanning almost 45 years in the NHS. Karen was born in Wirral and started her career in health at Clatterbridge Hospital, after enjoying her time as a Nurse Cadet whilst still at school.
Throughout her career Karen has worked at local, regional and national level and has also advised independent health and care providers across Great Britain and Europe. She is a highly experienced and respected NHS leader who continues to support the NHS and its workforce with great determination and passion.
Karen, still retains her clinical nurse registration and has made major contributions to the NHS, including leading large organisations comprising acute, secondary, community and primary care services, transforming mental health services and supporting change in national policy, and more recently working nationally with NHS England to support community health and care services through the challenges of the COVID pandemic.
In receiving this prestigious award Karen said, “It is such an honour to be recognised for my service to health. This is recognition of a life-time’s working. I joined the NHS at 15-years old as a Nurse Cadet working whilst still at school on a Saturday morning. I have been proud to dedicate my life to the NHS as a nurse and a manager and I feel very privileged to have had such a wonderful career”.
Karen is passionate about providing high quality health and care services and recognises the value of the dedicated workforce who deliver services each and every day. Karen is also a governor of The University of Chester promoting future career options in the health and care sector and working to develop and enhance future career pathways.
Professor Michael Brown, CBE, DL, Chair of Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust said of the accolade: “Karen is a truly inspirational public sector leader. This public honour is well deserved and recognises not only her major contributions to the NHS over many years but also her on-going work to deliver the best services possible to residents of Wirral and beyond”.
Richard Barker, Regional Director for NHS England Northwest, said: “I’d like to congratulate Karen on being awarded an OBE, in honour of the many years she had dedicated to the NHS; as a nurse, a manager, and now as a Chief Executive.
“To be recognised in the King’s New Year’s Honours is a fitting tribute to Karen’s service to the NHS and her outstanding contribution to health care in the region, and she should be extremely proud of this wonderful achievement.”