The Wheelchair Alliance
Karen currently supports the Wheelchair Alliance part time as the project manager and coordinator. She was the Director of Care for the MND Association from 2010 to 2017, prior to retiring from full time work. During her years at the MND Association she was passionate about people having independence, choice and a voice. Amongst other important priorities, she led work on improving access to communication aids, voice banking and wheelchairs. This included the development of a powered neuro-wheelchair which was shortlisted for a HSJ award in 2015, the design of a wheelchair pathway that was acknowledged as best practice by the NHS and presenting internationally on ‘Anticipatory approaches to Wheelchair provision’. Karen was one of the first members of the Wheelchair Alliance leading the workstream on holistic assessment which helped inform the Wheelchair Charter.
Prior to working in the third sector, Karen worked for 30 years in the NHS initially as a physiotherapist specialising in respiratory care and motor neurone disease. Later she worked as a Business Development Manager with local GP services, winning an award for introducing the concept of salaried GPs to the local area. She was also Assistant Director for Specialist Community Services, working closely with commissioners, providers and social services.