• Caroline Clarke takes over from Sir David Sloman
  • Was trust’s deputy chief executive for seven years
  • Sir David appointed joint NHS England and Improvement London regional director

The Royal Free London Foundation Trust has appointed a new group chief executive.

Caroline Clarke has stepped into the top job at the major teaching trust, after Sir David Sloman became the new joint NHS England and Improvement London regional director.

Ms Clarke, whose new role begins with immediate effect, was deputy chief executive at the large teaching trust for the past seven years. For most of that time, she was also chief finance officer.

Ms Clarke said she is “delighted and honoured” to become chief executive, adding: “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 Royal Free London group is one of four hospital group vanguards in England, new models of acute provision where several hospitals combine to share services. It is made up of Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.

It has a turnover of over £1bn but has been struggling to reduce its deficit. The group was expected to add a fourth member last year. However, in October, North Middlesex University Hospital Trust decided not to join.

A report to North Middlesex’s board said: “We have not found, heard or seen any evidence which, taken together, could be interpreted as a robust case for North Mid to seek to enter into a closer partnership with Royal Free London group, ie: by becoming a full member of the RFL group.”