The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFL) has today announced the appointment of Caroline Clarke as its new group chief executive.

Caroline has been the Royal Free London’s deputy chief executive for the past seven years, having first joined the Royal Free Hospital as a finance trainee in 1991. She will begin her new role leading one of the largest NHS teaching trusts with immediate effect.

Dominic Dodd, chairman of the RFL, said: “On behalf of the board, I am delighted that Caroline has agreed to become our new chief executive. We all look forward to working with her as she leads the Royal Free London into the next chapter in its history.

“It is a huge compliment to our staff that we were able to attract and choose between a strong field of candidates.”

Caroline said: “I am delighted and honoured to have this chance to lead the RFL and to build on the amazing work that we do here.  

“We have over 10,000 of the most committed, brilliant staff that I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. Together we have the opportunity to continue to make a huge difference to the communities and to the lives of the patients we serve.  

“I am looking forward to working with our key partners and stakeholders to do just that.” 

The RFL group is made up of Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.

Caroline Clarke CV

  • Royal Free London chief finance officer (2011-18) and deputy chief executive (2012 to February 2019)
  • Managing director and director of strategy at NHS North Central London (2009 to 2011)
  • Associate partner in KPMG’s health strategy team (2007 to 2009)
  • Director of finance at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and City and Hackney Primary Care Trust (2001-2007)
  • 2012 named finance director of the year by the Healthcare Financial Management Association
  • Director of RFL Property Services Ltd and a trustee of Overcoming MS and the Healthcare Financial Management Association


Note to editors

Caroline Clarke will become group chief executive and accountable officer for the Royal Free London with immediate effect.

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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free London’s mission is to provide world class expertise and local care.

We attract patients from across the country and beyond to our specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, neurology, Parkinson’s disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma. We are a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners, which brings people and organisations together to transform the health and wellbeing of the population.

The Royal Free London is one of four trusts across the NHS to be chosen to develop a group model enabling us to share services and resources more effectively across hospitals to improve the experience of patients and staff. More information is available here

Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital are part of the Royal Free London group, and North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust became its first clinical partner in September 2017.

For more information about our group structure visit and for general information about the trust visit