Both the chief nurse and chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust in east London have announced their resignation today.
Professor Kay Riley has announced that she will leave the trust this month and retire at the end of October, after a 30 year nursing career.
In addition, Peter Morris has announced his departure after six years as chief executive of the trust.
A trust statement said he had agreed to continue in his role while the selection process for a replacement is undertaken.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to use the opportunity given to me as chief nurse to take forward and develop the ethos of innovative and compassionate nursing”
With a turnover of £1.25bn and a workforce of 14,000, Barts Health NHS Trust is the largest health service trust in the country. However, it is struggling on both finance and performance.
At its last board meeting, held earlier this month, the trust announced its planned deficit had more than doubled from £44m to £93m.
In addition, a report from the Royal College of Nursing, also published earlier this month, highlighted Barts as the biggest spender on agency nurses.
Meanwhile, the trust is awaiting the publication of two Care Quality Commission reports which are expected to criticise the trust’s culture.
The trust also has significant performance problems, failing the four-hour accident and emergency waiting target and recording a 12-hour “trolley breach” wait in January.
Professor Riley has spent the last eight years as chief nurse at Barts and The London NHS Trust and more recently, following various mergers, under its new name Barts Health NHS Trust.
In the period up to her retirement, Professor Riley will join Health Education North West London and “pass on her wealth of experience to the next generation of nurses”, said a statement from the trust.
Professor Riley added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Barts.
“Having joined an institution with such a proud and distinguished history in the development of nursing dating back centuries, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to use the opportunity given to me as chief nurse to take forward and develop the ethos of innovative and compassionate nursing,” she said.
Trust chair Sir Stephen O’Brien said: “I would like to thank Kay for the significant contribution she has made to Barts Health and for the nursing leadership she has provided both locally and at a regional and national level. We wish her well for the future.”
Barts Health was created in 2012 from the merger of Barts and the London trusts, Whipps Cross University Hospital and Newham University Hospital.
When they were dissolved as separate organisations, Whipps Cross had a deficit of £6m, Newham a deficit of £0.2m, and Barts and the London a surplus of £2.6m.