Caroline Rassell joins Parkinson’s UK as our new Chief Executive

We welcome Caroline Rassell as our new Chief Executive. She brings 20 years of board experience in healthcare and government roles.

We're delighted to announce the appointment of Caroline Rassell as our Chief Executive. She'll be starting on 1 September, taking over from Shān Nicholas, our interim Chief Executive since January 2021.

Caroline brings a wealth of experience having overseen transformative and award winning programmes in the NHS. She joins Parkinson's UK from Versus Arthritis, where she oversaw a strategic review of the impact of their services. Caroline is passionate about making sure patients' needs are at the heart of healthcare services. She's also a trustee for 2 charities focused on social justice and care, and non-executive director of an organisation based on health and wellbeing.

On her appointment, Caroline said:

"I feel very lucky to be joining Parkinson's UK and to be given the opportunity to be a part of its future. It's clear from everyone I’ve met and everything I've seen already, that at the heart of the charity is a collective of people with a passion to make a real and lasting difference to people living with Parkinson's, their families and friends. That drive is invaluable to both a Chief Executive and the Parkinson's community.

"I believe that the charity is already going in the right direction with their pioneering plans and I'm looking forward to working with the staff, researchers, healthcare professionals, members, volunteers and the wider Parkinson's community to make sure that the future continues in the same vein. Putting people affected by the condition at the heart of the groundbreaking and vitally important work. This is something that I've always strived to do in my work, and I'm excited to be taking it forward when I join later this year."

Gary Shaughnessy, Chair of Trustees, said:  

"We're delighted to be welcoming Caroline to Parkinson's UK. During a thorough recruitment process which involved representatives from across the Parkinson's community and charity, we were all thoroughly impressed by her leadership skills and alignment with our core values.

"Caroline's experience in transforming services and engaging diverse groups in health care in the largest CCG in Essex will be of direct benefit to the Parkinson's community.  

"In Caroline we've found a proven leader who will continue to make sure that the needs of people with Parkinson’s are at the heart of everything that we do. Under her leadership, and with the full commitment of our colleagues, we will continue to push on with our ambitious aims in research and support, working towards finding a cure and improving life for everybody affected by Parkinson's."