• Director of nursing and quality to leave Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Marie Thompson to retire in the summer
  • Chief executive Wendy Swift also recently announced retirement

A second executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals FT is set to stand down, HSJ has learned, following news the chief executive will be leaving.

The trust confirmed Marie Thompson, director of nursing and quality, is to retire in the summer, although no date has been given. The trust said she notified the board in January.

Last week, chief executive Wendy Swift also announced she would be retiring.

The trust said the departures are for “personal reasons” and are unrelated to current operational issues.

The trust is struggling with multiple performance, quality and financial problems. Several of its staff members are also subject to ongoing police investigations in relation to treatment of patients on the stroke unit.

It was rated “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission in March 2018, with its urgent and emergency services rated “inadequate”. The CQC is set to return for another full inspection in June.

Over the last three years, the accident and emergency department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has consistently been among the worst performers against the four-hour A&E target. Performance has averaged around 56 per cent over the last four quarters.

The trust has been receiving “mandated support” from NHS Improvement. Its finances have started to deteriorate, and the trust expects to report a £6m deficit for 2018-19.

Pearse Butler, the trust’s chair, said in a statement: “I would like to make it clear that the retirements of Wendy Swift and Marie Thompson are for purely personal reasons and are in no way related to the trust’s performance.

“Both Wendy and Marie had planned their retirements some time ago and I would like to thank them for the major contributions they have made to the trust over the last few years. They will leave with everyone’s best wishes.

“It is true that the trust has a number of challenges to address but there has been progress over the last few years in a number of major areas and we are all working hard to maintain those improvements.”

Article updated to inlcude trust statement which said Ms Thompson had notified the board of her planned retirement in January 2019.