Professor Karen Norman

School: School of Nursing

Job Title: Visiting Professor, Kingston University and St George's, University of London


Phone: 0208 417 5753

Location: Kingston Hill


Dr Karen Norman(prev.Parsley)DMan, MA, BSc (Hons) RSCN RGN joined the Faculty as a Visiting Professor in 2012.

Karen's work experience encompasses 35 years of working in healthcare, in both the public and private sectors, in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and Gibraltar. This includes 20 years at Board level,10 of which were in an acute NHS University Hospital Trust in Brighton, UK, and 10 in her posts at Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA). As well as her extensive corporate and clinical knowledge, she also has management consultancy experience gained with Crosby Associates, an international company specialising in Total Quality Management, working in the UK and abroad in both primary andsecondary care.

She has a consistent track record for delivering on complex and challenging corporate and clinical projects, most recently as Chief Nursing Officer/Director of Patient Services, GHA. The international Executive Team was appointed by the Gibraltar Government, seeking to modernise and reform health service provision for their whole health system after an independent inquiry into clinical standards highlighted serious shortcomings in acute services. Their first task was to commission and open the overdue new acute hospital; successfully completed three months after their arrival.

Karen led the development and implementation of the GHA's first clinical governance andnursing and midwifery, strategy, in collaboration with staff, based on three central pillars; improving clinical outcomes, staff education and workforce planning and development. She also co-led a waiting list initiative to clear an eight-year backlog for joint surgery.

She introduced a performance management system for nurses that led to improved compliance with mandatory training requirements, the development of a post-registration education programme, and a reduction in sickness and absence rates from 25% to 10% and radically improving nursing care and clinical governance. A re-audit by the Chief Executive of the Nursing & Midwifery council, UK to review progress against the audit recommendations two years later confirmed: The recommendations ofthe Rocca Inquiry have now largely been implemented or are well in hand. This fact accompanied by the strong leadership of the Chief Executive and his Executive team, have made St Bernard's Hospital a safer place for patients. [...]"The over-riding finding of this review is of a major sea change in the culture of the GHA, with much greater teamwork, real energy and desire for excellence." The team found a multitude of staff-led initiatives designed to create greater patient safety and patient-centred care.

Her role in GHA rapidly expanded to include additional management responsibilities, including: Director for the Gibraltar Ambulance Services; Director for Mental Health services; the Nurse Education Department; Principal of the School of Health Studies, member of the Nurses & Midwives Registration Board of Gibraltar, and management of the Sponsored Patients Department and Pharmacy Department

Her CPD portfolio evidences similar significant improvements across all these areas of responsibility to those cited above for nursing.

Karen has undertaken extensive personal study at degree, Master's and Doctoral level. Her thesis, National Healthcare Strategy and the Management of Risk in a National Health Service Trust, focused on strategic change and how this emerges, paying particular attention to clinical risk management. As co-author of three healthcare textbooks, she has also shared her learning and contributed to the nursing profession through other publications and presentations at conferences worldwide.

Winner of four scholarships, she has supplemented her learning through study tours in Australia, the USA and Europe.

Karen is a Visiting Professor for the Faculty of Health, Kingston University and St George's University of London; a scholar-practitioner appointment to strengthen connections between theory and practice. Her operational leadership expertise contributes to a dynamic and progressive faculty, and together they are enriching the experience for students and potential for research through developing innovative teaching practices.

She is also a Visiting Professor and Faculty Member at the University of Hertfordshire, teaching on the Doctorate in Management / Master of Arts programme, which has an international reputation for helping senior executives and leaders research the implications of complexity theories in their organisational practice. She has successfully supervised four Doctoral graduates whose research has
had significant impact in their work.

Qualifications and key courses attended:

Doctorate in Management (DMan) University of Hertfordshire March 2005
Common Purpose Programme (1-year programme) Brighton & Hove 1998-1999
"Beyond Hierarchy" (received £8000 scholarship toundertake this 21-month programme)
Kings Fund Management College London 1997-1998
MA in Quality Assurance in Health & Social Care (part-time course)Nuffield Institute, Leeds 1994-1996
BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies: 2:1 (part-time course) Leeds Polytechnic 1987-1991
Registered Sick Children's Nurse Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham 1982-1984
Registered General Nurse Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge 1979-1982

Other key professional achievements to date:

Member of Sigma Theta Tau, US society for developing academic excellence in nursing.
Lead Director for Patient Advocacy (cited in the NHS Plan), winner of the 2001 Health Service
Journal Award.
Former member of the UK's Standing Nursing & Midwifery Advisory Committee, advising the
Secretary of State for Health.
Former reviewer for the Commission for Health Improvement.
Former member of Audit Commission Steering Group on national report into bank and agency
work, Brief Encounters.
Key contributor to Brighton Health Care's submissions to become a University Teaching Hospital.
Editorial Advisor to International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance since 2005.
Editorial Advisor to NMC Review (official publication of the UK's Nursing & Midwifery Council
Organising and hosting Gibraltar's first International Mental Health Conference; 1st Pre-Hospital
Care Conference and 1st Tri-Island Nursing Conferences

Selected publications and presentations:

Publications (Books and Journals):


Norman K. The experience of clinical risk assessment in the health sector. In Stacey R,
Griffin D, eds. Complexity and the Experience of Managing in Public Sector Organisations,
110-136. Milton Park: Routledge, 2005.
Parsley* K, Corrigan P. Quality improvement in healthcare: Putting evidence into practice.
London: Chapman & Hall, 1999.
Barnes J, Parsley K, Walshe K. Quality matters: An introduction to quality improvement and
audit in healthcare. Brighton Health Care, 1994; 2nd edition, 1996.
Parsley K, Corrigan P. Quality improvement in nursing and healthcare. London: Chapman &
Hall, 1994


Norman K, International Nurses Day: Nursing's got Talent! British Journal of Nursing, 24 (11):2015.
Norman K, A Uniform Experience? Reflections on implementing rules into practice.
International Journal of leadership in Public Health Services, Vol 8, no 4, 2012: 191-201
Norman K, Why we can't always blame the leaders when staff don't follow the rules. Public
Leaders Network, The Guardian, 21.10.13
Norman K, Between the rock and a hard place, NMC Review, Issue 4, Winter 2011.
Norman K, Our philosophy is to grow our own nurses. Nursing Times, 24th March 2011.
Parsley K. In search of pathways. Nursing Times 1998; 94 (32): 40-41.
Parsley K, Craig N. Trading Places. Nursing Times 1998; 94(17): 36-37.
Keighley T. The interview: Karen Parsley. Nursing Management 1997; 4(7): 14-17.
Parsley K, Barnes J. Do or die. International Journal of Quality Assurance 1995; 8(7): 9-13.
Barnes J, Walshe K, Parsley K. Star quality. Health Service Journal 1994; 104(5427): 20-22.
Evans* K, English G. Introducing Total Quality Management. Nursing Standard 1992; 6(27):
Evans* K, Corrigan P. Standard setting: An introduction to differing approaches. Nursing
Practice 1991; 4(3): 16-19.
Evans* K, Slater J. Quality Assurance: A positive approach. Nursing Standard 1990; 4(20):
Evans* K, Hind T. Getting the message across. Nursing Times 1987; 83(18): 40-42.

Key papers presented:

Norman K, Everon L, Larsen H. Changing behaviour to prevent falls. 17th International
Conference on Falls and Postural Stability; Falls and Bone Health Section; British Geriatrics
Society, Edinburgh, September 2016.
Norman K. Patient falls: A systemic problem or a behavioural problem? Symposie on fald of
faldforebyggelse: Danish national falls convention, Kolding, February 2016.
Norman K, Renshaw M, Larsen H, Tucker P, Mowles C. Patient falls decrease as conversation
deepens. Participatory Innovation conference, Design as Organisational Practice. The Hague,
Netherlands, 2015.
Norman K. A case study in using complex responsive processes of relating in a health care
organization. PhD Summer School, Sondeberg Univerity, Denmark, September 2011
Norman K, Chipolina C, Larsen, H. Working with improvisational theatre in a mental health
facility in Gibraltar. Complexity Management Centre International Conference, Roffey Park, UK;
Complexity and the Embodiment of Power and Identity in Organizations, June 2011.
Norman K. Evidence-based leadership: A rock on which to build, or shifting sands? Public
lecture, Kingston & St George University of London, March 2011.
Norman K, Critchlowe B, Naylor R. Nurses sans frontières. Nursing Times Summit, Woking, UK,
March 2011.
Norman K. Hands across the water. 10th Annual Small Communities Conference, Isle of Man,
September 2010.
Norman K. Practice makes perfect. 9th Annual Small Communities Nursing Conference,
Gibraltar, September 2009.
Norman K. The Gibraltar story. 8th Annual Small Communities Conference, Guernsey,
September 2008.
Norman K. Tides of change. 7th Annual Small Communities Conference, Gibraltar, September
Norman K. Washing our hands of a problem: A complexity perspective. Complexity
Management Centre International Conference, Oslo, Norway, May 2007.
Norman K. An introduction to complex responsive processes in healthcare. 'Working Live'
International Networking Conference with Da Capo Theatre (Denmark). Gibraltar, October,
Norman K. Values, conflict and compromise. Complexity Management Centre International
Conference, Roffey Park, UK, June 2006.
Norman K. The Gibraltar Nursing, Midwifery & Health Visiting Strategy: One year on. 'Simply
the Best' GHA Nursing Conference, Gibraltar, November, 2006.
Parsley K. Leadership in action. Modernisation Agency Summer Schools, York, August 2001.
Parsley K. Dewey G, Rodrigues L. Brighton & Hove Leadership Project. Poster presentation,
6th European Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, Bologna, Italy, March 2001.
Parsley K. Policies in practice. Modernisation Agency Summer Schools, York, UK, August 2000.
Parsley K. Recruitment in the UK. Sigma Theta Tau Recruitment & Retention Conference,
Columbus, Ohio, USA, April 2000.
Parsley K. An introduction to clinical governance. OD Partnerships conference, Barcelona,
February 1999.
Parsley K. An introduction to clinical pathways. Healthcare Events conference, Royal College
of Surgeons, London, February 1999.
Parsley K. Duncan M. The Brighton & Hove Leadership Project. NHS Executive Summer School,
Brighton, UK, August 1998.
Parsley K. The future of nursing. Chief Nursing Officer Reception, London, June 1998.
Parsley K. Theory/practice gap: hairline fracture or abyss? Institute of Healthcare
Management (IHM) 50th anniversary conference, London, June 1998.
Parsley K. Combine vision with action and you can change the world. Action Research
conference, Royal College of Nursing, London, May 1997.
Parsley K. Audit and evaluation. QANA: 8th Annual International Conference, Dublin, November
Parsley K. Pride and prejudice. BAMM/Brighton Health Care national conference, Brighton,
November 1996.
Parsley K. Sharing good practice: A strategic approach. Royal College of Nursing Conference,
London, October 1995.
Parsley K. Quality Assurance theories underpinning the development of a Strategy for
Nursing. International Society for Quality Assurance in Health Care international conference,
Venice, June 1994.
Parsley K. Putting quality theories into practice: A nursing perspective. Institute of
Healthcare Management (IHM) Conference, London, June 1993.
Evans* K, Cackett N. Doncaster Health Authority: A case study. National Association of Quality
Assurance in Healthcare conference, Leeds, April 1989.
Evans* K, Slater J. Turning our backs on the back trolley. Royal College of Nursing/Scutari
National Conference, Brighton, October 1988.
Evans* K, Slater J. Developing a client centred approach on the medical ward through
training the team in communication skills. Royal College of Nursing/Nursing Standard
international conference, Brighton, November 1987.

Academic and professional qualifications

  • Doctorate in Management (DMan), National Healthcare Strategy and the Management of Risk in a National Health Service Trust, University of Hertfordshire
  • MA, MA in Quality Assurance in Health & Social Care, Nuffield Institute, Leeds
  • BSc(Hons), BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies, Leeds Polytechnic
  • Diploma, Registered Sick Children's Nurse, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  • RGN, Registered General Nurse, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

Professional experience

  • 2012 - present
    Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health, Kingston University and St George's University of London
  • 2010 - present
    Visiting Professor, Business School, University of Hertfordshire
  • 2004 - 2014
    Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Patient Services, Gibraltar Health Authority
  • 1994 - 2004
    Director of Nursing and Patient Services & Head of Nursing Faculty, Brighton Health Care NHS Trust/Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • 1992 - 1994
    Assistant/Acting Director of Nursing, Brighton Health Care NHS Trust
  • 1990 - 1993
    Independent Associate (Healthcare), Crosby Associates UK & Australasia Ltd
  • 1991 - 1992
    Quality Assurance Project Consultant, Townsville General Hospital, North Queensland, Australia
  • 1988 - 1990
    Senior Nurse, Service Development Project Coordinator, Total Quality Management, Doncaster Royal Infirmary/Montagu Hospital Trust, Mexborough, South Yorkshire
  • 1985 - 1988
    Senior Sister, Medical Ward, Newark General Hospital, Newark, Nottinghamshire
  • 1984 - 1985
    Staff Nurse, Paediatric Unit, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  • 1979 - 1984
    Student/Staff Nurse, General and paediatric training and consolidation in a variety of staff nurse posts, Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge and Queen's Medical Centre Nottingham.

Professional registration and membership

  • Registered General Nurse / Registered Sick Children's nurse, NMC
  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau, US society for developing academic excellence in nursing

Research interests

Leadership; Management; Change; Complexity; Nursing; Change; Patient Falls, Narrative research

Grants and funding

  • 2015 - 2016
    Understanding the nature of leadership behaviours that influenced a significant reduction in patient falls in an NHS trust by use of improvisational theatre as a research method.Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education Small Research Projects Scheme 2014