Cara Charles-Barks is the Chief Executive Officer of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, and has a wide range of clinical and management experience in healthcare. She has completed both a Masters of Nursing and Masters of Business Administration.
The daughter of an Australian farmer, she began her career in healthcare by qualifying as a registered nurse in 1991. From there she worked in London for three years, before returning to Australia where she rose through the ranks: first becoming a nurse consultant, then clinical practice manager and finally Nursing Director of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide.
Cara moved back to the UK in 2008, taking the role of Deputy Chief Operating Officer in Peterborough. Prior to coming to Salisbury hospital, she was Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust.
She managed Salisbury Foundation Trust during the Novichok incident that rocked the city and drew a great deal of international attention. Cara used her wealth of experience to guide the Trust through such a difficult time. Cara says, “My son, who is an avid Spiderman fan, often tells me ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ – and so it is for a chief executive. When I accepted the role of CEO for Salisbury, I promised myself that every day I would strive to do what I could to help make the NHS outstanding.”