One of England’s largest hospital trusts will be run by an “office of the chief executive”, consisting of the medical director, finance director and the chair.

Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London will continue with the unusual arrangement until a new substantive chief executive is appointed.

On 1 October the £971m-turnover organisation announced existing chief executive Mark Davies would be leaving at the end of the year, possibly for a new role with the NHS Trust Development Authority.

But the trust announced on 10 October that the new three-man “office of the chief executive” arrangement would instead take “immediate effect”.

Medical director professor Nick Cheshire and chief financial officer Bill Shields will work alongside chair Sir Richard Sykes, who was appointed in December 2011,

He arrived after the departure of previous substantive chief executive Steve Smith, who left after the trust tipped into deficit in 2011.

Sir Richard was chair of NHS London from December 2008 to July 2010 when he resigned in protest at Andrew Lansley’s halting of the strategic health authority’s plan to reconfigure services in London.

He was rector of Imperial College London from 2000 to 2008 and oversaw the creation of Imperial Academic Health Science Centre, while also holding directorships at two different mining companies.