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Care UK appoints Friend to new chief operating officer position

Leading provider Care UK has appointed senior Nuffield Health executive Martin Friend to its newly created role of chief operating officer (COO).

Friend will join Care UK in January and take on overall accountability for operations across the business, reporting directly to chief executive Andrew Knight.

He will join from Nuffield Health, where he represented operations on the executive board as COO, a post he held since 2017.

In this role, Martin integrated a number of acquisitions, including Virgin Active and, more recently, Aspen Healthcare and led the delivery and growth of Nuffield Health’s connected health model to 1.5m customers a year.

At Care UK, Friend (pictured) will be charged with transitioning the 26 Sunrise and Gracewell homes that come under Care UK’s management next month.

Care UK has opened 58 new care homes in the past decade and employs more than 10,000 people.

“The addition of this role into our business is a natural evolution given our ever-increasing scale,” said Knight.

“I have no doubt Martin’s experience, energy and his fresh perspective will bring a valuable contribution to our future growth plans, particularly our focus on expanding our role as a quality provider of homes for people funding their own care,” he added.

“I look forward to working with him to build on the great work of our operational teams and deliver on our longer-term operational strategy.”

Friend added: “I am incredibly excited about this opportunity. The arrival of teams from Sunrise and Gracewell, alongside Care UK’s already ambitious development programme, make this a fantastic time to be joining the company.

“My first priority will be to meet as many of the operations team as I can to really understand the challenges of the business and how we can best deliver on the company’s long-term goals.”

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