Karen McDowell appointed new Chief Executive for NHS Surrey Heartlands | News centre

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Karen McDowell appointed new Chief Executive for NHS Surrey Heartlands

Karen McDowell image

Karen McDowell has been appointed as the new Chief Executive for NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board (ICB) and the Integrated Care System (ICS) with immediate effect.

Karen, who has been Acting Chief Executive for the ICB since last September, following the departure of Professor Claire Fuller, has worked in the NHS for over 27 years. 

Prior roles include Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer for Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Chief Finance Officer at Guildford and Waverley and Merton CCGs, as well as senior positions in London and Greater Manchester. 

Her director experience also includes urgent and emergency care, emergency preparedness, ambulance commissioning, primary care, performance and assurance and the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB Chair Ian Smith said:

Since taking up the reins last September, Karen has provided excellent leadership and stability to both the ICB and across the wider Surrey Heartlands health and care system. 

I and the Board look forward to continuing to work closely with Karen and with wider partners and I have every confidence that Karen will bring the strong leadership required to continue our journey, including our ambition for greater integration of local health and care services which is so important to patients and their families.


On her appointment, Karen said:

It truly is a privilege to have been appointed as the new Chief Executive for NHS Surrey Heartlands. 

Having worked in the NHS for over 27 years, I have seen first-hand how hard colleagues work on behalf of patients and local people and the real impact they make to people’s lives. 

I have been proud to work in Surrey for the past 11 years and I too am a patient and local resident so the work we do has a real personal impact on me and my family. 

Whilst we are facing one of the most challenged times I have experienced within the NHS, I’m looking forward to continuing our journey with partners to transform and sustain local services, working with communities to reduce the inequalities in healthcare provision we know exist, and to improve the health of the local population.


NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board


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