The chair of Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust has been sacked by Monitor.

Richard Bourne has been removed from his post with immediate effect, a day after Monitor stepped in at neighbouring Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Earlier this month Mr Bourne accused Monitor of being “grossly unfair” and “intimidatory”. He said his trust was considering legal action against the regulator.

University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust chair Sir Peter Dixon has been appointed interim chair of the trust.

Monitor’s board decided to intervene after concluding the trust had failed to make sufficient progress on waiting time targets, patient safety and governance.

Although the trust had made some progress over the last six months to improve its performance, the rate of progress had been been slower than expected, Monitor said.

Monitor’s executive chairman Bill Moyes said: “We have taken this decision to ensure the trust has the board leadership capacity to address our concerns. Ultimately this is about making sure the trust is in a position to identify risks and challenges that affect patient services and then deliver an effective response.

“Sir Peter Dixon is a highly experienced chair of a successful foundation trust that has successfully addressed challenges of its own. I am confident his leadership will benefit Colchester Hospital University by providing strategic board level leadership.”

Monitor said a permanent chair would be appointed when the trust had demonstrated it could return to compliance.

Earlier this month, in a confidential email to other foundation trusts, Mr Bourne said Monitor’s process ignored large amounts of evidence of a favourable nature.

The trust said the email had not been intended for publication.