Mark Goldman is leaving his role as chief executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust.

The hospital trust – one of the largest in England – has announced that Dr Goldman told the board he would leave more than a year ago, “as he was in his 59th year”.

Mark has been an outstanding chief executive with a national reputation

He is one of the most high profile acute chief executives, a surgeon, and is on the NHS National Leadership Council.

Dr Goldman has said he will stay beyond August – the end of his notice period – if required.

Chair Clive Wilkinson, who is also stepping down next month, said: “Mark has been an outstanding chief executive with a national reputation which is why he was appointed to the National Leadership Council and leads nationally on clinical leadership.

“He will be sorely missed by the trust but as we have come to expect has again put the interests of the trust before those of his own.

“The forthcoming general election, new priorities for the NHS and a new chair will require the trust to continue to look to the long term future and develop its priorities and services based on a new agenda.

“Mark and I have worked together for nine years and he is highly regarded by all staff and partners who work with the trust.  He has been a tower of strength to me as chairman and whomever he chooses to work with in the future they will be fortunate to have someone of his calibre.”

Dr Goldman has been chief executive since 2001 and the trust achieved foundation status in 2005. He then led the first acquisition by a foundation of another trust – the failing Good Hope Hospital Trust.

Last month Monitor decided the trust was “in significant breach of its authorisation” as a foundation after failing to meet the target for 98 per cent of accident and emergency attendees to be seen within four hours.