We have nine members who make up our Physio First executive committee and three of our team who sit on it as advisors.
It is our committee’s role to run and guide our organisation in response to our members’ needs and views and in support of championing evidence-based, private physiotherapy in the changing healthcare marketplace.
Our executive committee meets four times a year.
Meet our executive
Karen Lay MCSP
Karen has been involved with Physio First since 2008, starting as a Regional Officer for Mercia region. She then became our Regional Officer Representative on our executive committee and served on our education sub committee, which she chaired from 2015.
Having run her own private practice for over 20 years, Karen now works as a part-time associate with clinical input in musculoskeletal disorders, injection therapy and acupuncture.
Karen has served as a member of the CSP Council and chaired their Education Awards Panel. She is also a clinical educator for local university undergraduate programmes, providing practice placement for students.
She became our Physio First Chairman during the 2019 AGM at our annual conference in Nottingham.
Karen has worked tirelessly both for our organisation and for physiotherapy in general. She has been Regional Officer for Mercia, Honorary Education Officer and, most recently, having been instrumental in establishing and contributing to our Research and Development sub committee.
She wholeheartedly champions the Data for Impact project and feels how by contributing to the body of evidence reinforces understanding of her business and personal professional needs in a changing healthcare market.
Karen was also instrumental in pioneering the private practice module in the MSc in physiotherapy at the University of Brighton.
In 2015 Karen was awarded Honorary Life Membership of Physio First in recognition of her contribution to physiotherapy, and this was similarly recognised in 2016 by the CSP when they awarded her their distinguished service medal.
Strategic and Business
Paul’s title of Strategic and Business lead was conferred in 2019 to reflect the development of his role in championing Physio First in the business marketplace, and his work in establishing a private practitioner owned co-operative that aims to work closely with Physio First members in defining their own worth in the healthcare marketplace.
A solicitor by profession and a litigator by specialism, the skill of giving sound, professional advice has never been foreign to Paul; as he says: “Being a non-voting member of our executive is exactly the same as representing my clients. It is always their case I am putting forward, not mine.”
Prior to this, Paul had been General Secretary of Physio First for more than 15 years, a role so varied it could more accurately be described as “chameleon”. The consistent elements include acting as advisor to our executive committee and liaising closely with our Chairman. Most recently with regard to developing our Physio First 9-Goal business plan that involved meeting healthcare marketplace and stakeholder representatives with our previous Chairman, Pam.
George Olivier B.Pharm MSc PhD MRPharmS MRSC
George is a Principal Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Brighton. He lectures in medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry and has an interest in quality issues surrounding the use of plants when used as medicines.
He is a pharmacist by training and has been using electronic methods for learning, teaching and assessment for over 20 years involving the on-line gathering and interpretation of data. He has been working on the DFI project and its predecessors since 2004.
Jacqui joined as a member of our office team in 2009 since when she has worked in our accounts department, supporting all aspects of our financial operation.
In 2016, Jacqui stepped into the Treasurers role after over 6 years of first-hand knowledge of Physio First's accounts.
She has over 25 years of accounting experience working within various industries.
Honorary Membership Officer
Richard Hulbert MCSP
Richard joined Physio First in 2008 and was appointed to our executive committee at our 2016 AGM. He has been a member of our membership sub-committee since 2013, when it was originally our PR sub-committee.
At 35, Richard is the youngest member of our executive. He joined Physio First after taking ownership of the practice where he had been working part-time.
Richard had qualified from the University of Bradford only two years earlier and was the first to admit he was a reasonably inexperienced physio at the time.
Juggling the running of a busy clinic, entering the business environment and trying to advance his clinical skills – simultaneously – was a major challenge, especially with no mentor.
Richard said: “If it was not for Physio First I’m not sure how I would have survived those first few years. The financial climate at the time was not good and the practice wasn’t in the most affluent area of the country.”
“Being a Physio First member meant I received some much-valued support which resulted in me joining a sub-committee. Since then I have built many professional relationships with other physio colleagues, not to mention friendships, and gained a greater understanding of private physiotherapy as a whole.”
In his spare time Richard, who has two younger children, likes to keep fit in the gym, play squash and five-a-side football. One of his biggest passions is travelling and he spends much of his annual leave visiting all corners of the globe, often while following the England national football team!
Honorary Education Officer
Byron has been a member of Physio First for 19 years. His support on LinkedIn for our organisation’s 5-year business plan in 2013 highlighted his enthusiasm and passion for our Physio First vision, and compelled our executive to approach him to become more involved. Byron admits that he was “shocked, but also honoured to be contacted.” As a member of the education sub-committee, Byron was inspired by being part of a passionate team who gave up their time both for the good of our organisation and our profession and this led him, in 2019 to step up to the role of Chair of our education sub committee.
Byron also teaches gymnastics and is responsible for producing GB’s first European Champion. He is a keen runner, regularly goes to the gym and has recently taken up cycling.
In addition to his dedication to Physio First, Byron has a passion for his role as a physiotherapist, and his reputation within the sporting world that has resulted in him receiving referrals to treat international sports participants. He was a leading provider of private physiotherapy in the North West and was one of our very first Physio First members to obtain Quality Assured Practitioner status. His interest and qualifications in Orthopaedic Medicine and Injection therapy also led him to serve as Chair of ACPOMIT.
Honorary Commercial Officer
Belinda has been an active member of Physio First for 15 years and is the owner and Clinical Director of Greystone Chartered Physiotherapy Clinic in Swadlincote and Ashby Physiotherapy Clinic in Leicestershire and has been established in private practice for over 25 years.
Her background includes NHS Superintendent level at a Regional Orthopaedic / MSK Hospital and now involves all areas of physiotherapy private practice. Belinda is a Specialist in MSK and Movement and Performance with extended interests in Paediatrics, women’s health and Fascia, and is a JEMS Certified Clinical Rehabilitation Practitioner.
In her clinics she promotes excellence in clinical rehabilitation and health and well-being and deals with all age ranges and modalities of physiotherapy.
Honorary Research and Development Officer
Liz (Elizabeth) Palmer
Liz has been a member of Physio First since 1990 when she first started in private practice. She qualified From Guys Hospital in 1979 and has worked in hospitals in South Africa and Norwich. In !998, Liz established Park Physiotherpay in Norfolk where she currently works, from her purpose built clinic.
In 2014 LIz became the alternate regional officer for East Anglia before taking over as the regional officer. During that time Liz also become involved with our research and development committee and she resiged from the regional officer role in 2019 to take on the role of our Hon Research and Development Officer in 2020 because, as she says "I am passionate about the benefits of private practice, and working with the Data for Impact project gives me the opportunity to be part of facilitating how we measure our effectiveness as clinicians."
Liz regularly attends our Physio First annual conference "for the fantastic speakers and clinical aspiration", she has a special interest in treating migraine headaches and tinnitus and, in 2014 she completed a Master's degree in Advances MSK Research and Practice at the University of East Anglia with her final dissertation on the physiotherapy treatment of cervicogenic headaches.
Honorary Communication Officer
Pam Simpson MCSP
Having stepped down as Chairman at this AGM Pam is ideally suited to set up the new role as Honorary Communications Officer. Pam started her Physio First volunteer role as Honorary Public Relations Officer in 2007 before serving as Vice Chairman and Chairman. Our executive feel this is a pivotal role for Physio First going forwards.
Pam runs her own specialist training, consultancy and medico legal business.
Honorary Regional Officer Representative
Lucinda is the owner of Chipping Norton Physio. She specialises in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and has a specific interest in low back and neck pain, and post-operative rehabilitation.
Lucinda has been a member of Physio First since April 2009, and was an Alternate for the Oxford region for 3 years before commencing her current role as Regional Officer.
In 2006 Lucinda completed her MSc in Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at UCL. She has worked in the NHS, and at the Manor Hospital in Oxford, and is also a fully qualified APPI Pilates Instructor.