Following the departure of EMAS Chairman Pauline Tagg MBE, NHS England has recruited a new Chairman, Karen Tomlinson.
Karen joined EMAS as a Non-Executive Director in August 2014, and was appointed to the role of Chairman, starting a two-year initial term on 1 August 2022.
She has worked in most healthcare settings throughout her 45 years career within the NHS, starting her career as a nurse, and progressing to various senior management posts including Executive Nurse, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations.
Karen has been a Specialist Advisor with the Care Quality Commission since 2014 and led the implementation of the North Nottinghamshire Covid Programme during 2020/2021.
EMAS Chief Executive Richard Henderson said:
“I take this opportunity to thank Pauline for the tremendous contributions and leadership she has given not only during her time at EMAS, but throughout her NHS career which spans 50 years! On a personal note, I am grateful to Pauline for the leadership and support that she gave me during her time at EMAS, particularly when I became Chief Executive in 2016, and throughout the challenging years and significant issues that we’ve dealt with together. Despite the ongoing challenges, Pauline leaves us with the knowledge that her contributions have had a positive impact on the way that we are able to care for our patients, staff and volunteers.
“It was my absolute pleasure to introduce Karen Tomlinson as our new Chairman at our Trust Board meeting yesterday. Karen has worked in the NHS for the last 45 years, with the last eight at EMAS in the Non-Executive Director role. Her experiences and knowledge gained during her time working as a nurse, and as she progressed to various senior management roles including Executive Nurse, Deputy Chief Executive, and Director of Operations, will support and guide her in her new role; together we will continue to progress and develop the emergency, urgent and non-emergency patient services we provide, supported by our colleagues and volunteers, and our Big 3 strategic objectives.”
As Chairman, Karen has the opportunity to help shape the future of local services by sharing her experiences and expertise to transform and develop sustainable healthcare services to make a positive difference to our communities. The role combines the duty to lead effective governance, consistent with the Nolan principles and NHS and EMAS values, with securing a long-term vision and strategy for the organisation. Essentially, the chair is responsible for the effective leadership of the board; for setting the right tone and shaping organisational culture; developing a board that is genuinely connected to and assured about staff and patient experience; and in the ambassador role, leading and developing relationships and partnership working.
Speaking about her new role, Karen said:
“Following the interview and stakeholder panel process, I feel both privileged and humbled to be appointed by NHS England to the Chairman role. For me, it’s the icing on the cake as I’m very passionate about EMAS, and to progress to the role of Chairman is a real privilege.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our former Chairman, Pauline Tagg, for her support, leadership and encouragement, and to my Non-Executive and Director colleagues at EMAS for their ongoing commitment and support that will see us continue to work together to address ongoing challenges and progress towards delivering outstanding services for our patients, staff and volunteers.”