Karen Middleton joined the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) as chief executive in February 2014 and has been a regular commentator on health policy.
In her last post, which she held for almost seven years, Karen was chief health professions officer at NHS England and Department of Health, leading more than 80,000 physiotherapists and other allied health professionals in the NHS and other sectors - the Government’s most senior adviser on the allied health professions.
She graduated in physiotherapy in London in the mid-1980s, initially specialising in musculoskeletal therapy before moving into rehabilitation and then becoming associate director of primary care in Tower Hamlets, east London in 1999, where she managed the community nursing workforce.
From there she moved to the London Directorate for Health and Social Care as a primary care development manager. In 2003 she joined the Department of Health as allied health professions advisor before being appointed as chief health professions officer four years later.
Karen has fellowships from the CSP and the Society of Orthopaedic Medicine now known as the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine, and in early 2014 was made visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University in the faculty of health and social sciences. Karen also holds honorary doctorates from City, Hertfordshire, Keele and Brighton Universities. In October 2014 Karen was elected President of the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body and has 53,000 members.