Karen Chummun

Head of Talent - London, NHS England

Karen has always had a passion for investing in people.  

Karen is the NHS England Head of Talent for NHS London. She was responsible for launching the NHS London Aspirant Chief Executive and Executive Director talent pool. In 2019 as the NHS Leadership Academy’s London Talent Lead she was responsible for establishing the NHS London Regional Talent Board, previously Chaired by Navina Evans, and currently Chaired by Jinjer Kandola. She embedded the NHS’s first ‘whole system’ approach to talent management through the London Regional Talent Board; as well as supporting the Board and the Steering Group, she managed the Regional Talent Management Programme Office. She has recently returned to London following a national role as NHS England’s Head of Talent pipelines, leading the ‘Key 1000’ programme, focused on inclusion and  diversifying talent pipelines to NHS Board roles. Working with regional Heads of Talent the talent pool tripled in size and diversity increased 3-fold. 

Working with Senior London stakeholders, Karen is developing and delivering strategic approaches to identifying, assessing, supporting and deploying talent. In 2022 she launched the NHS London Talent Sponsorship Scheme, focused on improving diversity at Board level. She is currently focused on maximising diversity through NED collaborations, peer talent spotting and harnessing digital talent enablers for inclusion.  She works closely with the National colleagues provide guidance and oversight and collaborating across the service to direct the regional and national talent management approaches to support the delivery of the conditions set out in the NHS England People Plan, Long-term Workforce Plan and the aspirations set out in Leadership for a Collaborative and Inclusive Future (The Messenger Review).

Karen started her career as a Forensic Scientist with the Forensic Science Service (NDPB) before moving into local management and the national leadership roles, including the Service Delivery Lead for Operation Cube. In 2012, after the closure of the FSS, she moved to the London Deanery managing postgraduate Doctors and Dentists in training programmes, and then into the London Head of National Recruitment role. In 2016, as part of Health Education England, she was responsible for a varied portfolio of project and programme management which covered digital workforce enablers, Continuous Improvement Initiatives, Strategic Human Resource Management and workforce development initiatives. During Covid she redeployed into the Workforce and HR cell as a Programme Director, managing the redeployment of clinical and clerical staff across the London, working with HEE, Trusts, CCGs/ICS, Government and Skill for Care to safely onboard individuals into the London Nightingale Hospital, Providers, Social and Primary care sectors including Homeless Hotels.

Karen is an Executive and Board Coach, Mentor and skilled in various psychometrics. She  has a passion for ensuring that everybody’s talent is recognised. In her spare time she loses at Chess, watches movies, enjoys Science Fiction books and attends Secret Cinema events.