Karen Bliss – Trust Chair

Karen Bliss

Position: Trust Chair


Tell us about your career to date:

I graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Engineering, before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

I worked for PwC for 15 years, working first in the Business Assurance Practice, and latterly in the Insolvency Practice.

My client portfolio at PwC included large and complex organisations such as HJ Heinz, British Nuclear Fuels, Novartis and Royal & Sun Alliance as well as SMEs.

During my time in the Insolvency Practice, I managed the Manchester claims operations of Independent Insurance, the largest ever UK Insurance insolvency.

After taking a career break to look after my young children, I was appointed as a Non -Executive director and Audit Chair of Ashton Leigh & Wigan Community Services NHS Trust – the predecessor organisation to Bridgewater.

I continued as a NED with Bridgewater when it was formed ten years ago and was on the Board when Bridgewater gained Foundation Trust status in November 2014 – one of the first Community Trusts in the country to do so.  In September 2019, I was appointed as the Chair of Bridgewater.

In addition to my role at Bridgewater, since May 2014, I have been a Trustee and Treasurer at Relate Cheshire and Merseyside, the relationship counselling charity.


What is the most important thing for you in your role?

As Chair of Bridgewater, my role is to provide leadership to the Board through these really challenging times, so that we can all work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for our families and their communities.


What is your main focus for the year?

Coming out of the pandemic, my main area of focus this year will be on building upon the great partnership working that we saw during the pandemic that will help us respond to health inequalities and to the pressures that will inevitably be put on the system as we move into the Recovery phase.


What do you enjoy most about your role?

The best part of my job is getting out and about and meeting our teams.

It’s really important for me to hear their direct experience of how it feels to work for Bridgewater – what is working well, what can be made better and most importantly how they make a difference to people’s lives every day.