Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Chief Executive announces retirement

karen croppedAfter 20 years as Chief Executive, Karen Dowman has announced her intention to retire from the Trust. Karen has kindly agreed to remain in her role, allowing the process for the appointment of her successor to take its course, alongside her continuing leadership and direction.


Karen has worked in mental health services since 1992, with previous experience in priority services and the acute sector. She has wide experience of service redesign, change management and partnership working, including leading the creation of one of only five care Trusts in the country. Career highlights include:


  • Leading the development into NHS Trust and Care Trust status.
  • Leading the successful transfer of the Trust into Foundation status.
  • Developing health partnerships both locally and across the West Midlands.
  • Developing policy with the NHS Confederation Mental Health Foundation Trust Network.
  • Overseeing and championing the continual development of mental health and learning disabilities services in Sandwell over the last 25 years.


Karen Dowman said: "I am very lucky to have had the privilege of leading such a fantastic organisation and seeing the development, over the years, of much improvement to services for people with learning disabilities, mental ill health and for children and families, often the most vulnerable in society."


Joanna Newton, Chair of BCPFT said: "It can seem like there is never 'a right time' for someone of Karen's experience, knowledge and compassion to step down from such a significant role. Karen has been an inspirational leader at the Trust, seeing through many organisational and service developments with understanding and compassion, placing our patients at the very heart of all we do. She will be missed by our community, whose healthcare needs she has championed through her work at the Trust and in voluntary posts with local organisations."