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Colchester: Dr Sally Irvine to step down as chairwoman of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Sally Irvine, chairwoman of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, is to step down

Dr Sally Irvine, chairwoman of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, is to step down

The chairwoman of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has announced her intention to step down from the role later this year.

Dr Sally Irvine, who has been in the position since August 2010, was appointed chairwoman after a career in the public and charitable sector.

She said: “Now that the new Council of Governors is in place and the Trust’s Care Quality Commission hospital inspection has taken place earlier this month, I feel it is the right time to announce my intended departure as chair of the trust board.

“Late last year our trust was placed into special measures, partly because of governance breaches relating to cancer services. “Since then the trust board has been working hard to develop and implement a number of action plans designed to ensure that every one of our patients receives good quality care.

“An assurance review conducted by NHS England earlier this year indicated that the trust is making progress against these action plans.

“It recognised that there have been a number of improvements, particularly that members of staff are more confident and engaged compared with a year ago, and that patients and visitors the NHS England review team spoke to were very complimentary about the care and treatment they received.”

Dr Irvine added: “Much remains to be done and we cannot be complacent about the size of the task ahead but I feel that with help, we have identified the issues to be addressed and we have turned the corner. This is therefore the right time for me to make this announcement.

“I have informed Monitor of my decision and they will work closely with the trust to support the Governors in selecting a suitable successor.

“I think it is proper and appropriate that the trust’s new, permanent chief executive should be appointed by – and have the confidence of – our new chair.

“We will begin the process of appointing the new chair within the next few weeks, and when we have identified the right person the appointment of the new chief executive will follow.”

Dr Irvine is a member of the Professional Standards Authority, where she chairs its scrutiny committee, and a member of the Council of the University of Essex.

She is a director and trustee of the international Britten-Pears Foundation, a board director and trustee of the Aldeburgh Cinema Trust and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Dr Irvine said: “A number of the other organisations, especially the charities, with which I am involved, are at important and crucial points in their development. Being a Foundation Trust chair, especially one at the stage that Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust is, is all-consuming and I have not been able to give my other areas of responsibility and interest the commitment and time they need. I would now like to do so.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues inside and outside the Trust, particularly the many loyal and devoted staff at our various hospitals. They are a remarkable group of people. It never fails to amaze me how tremendously dedicated NHS staff really are.”

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