Care UK appoints Martin Friend as chief operating officer

Martin Friend who will join Care UK in January

Care UK has appointed Martin Friend to the newly created role of chief operating officer.

He will join the executive team in January, reporting directly to chief executive Andrew Knight, and will be taking on overall accountability for operations across the business. As part of his remit, he will be charged with transitioning the 26 Sunrise and Gracewell homes which come under Care UK’s management next month.


Friend will join Care UK from Nuffield Health, where he is chief operating officer, a post he has held since 2017. In this role, he integrated acquisitions, including Virgin Active and Aspen Healthcare, and led the delivery and growth of Nuffield Health’s connected health model.

Before this position he was responsible for Nuffield’s fitness and wellbeing services – a role he took up in 2009 after working in the leisure, telecommunications, and sporting sectors.

‘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,’ said Friend. ‘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.’

Knight added: ‘The addition of this role into our business is a natural evolution given our ever-increasing scale. 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.

‘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.’