GOVERNANCE: The chair of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust has stepped down with immediate effect.

Julian Lee, who has been chair for seven years, will be temporarily replaced by non-executive Tony Kildare.

Mr Lee had been reappointed in 2013 and his term of office was expected to run until August 2017. Non-executive Christine Farnish has also stepped down, more than a year before her term was due to end.

The trust is awaiting the outcome of a routine Care Quality Commission inspection and recently had Gillian Fairfield drafted in as chief executive for up to a year, on secondment from Pennine Acute Trust.

Mr Lee said: “It has been a privilege to have been chair of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust over the last seven years and I feel proud to have been able to play a part in some of the good work that has been achieved during this time. In particular, securing the £485m funding for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital was a significant milestone in the history of the trust and one that will bring long-lasting benefits to future generations. The project will take several years to complete and I feel now is the right time for a new chair to work with the recently appointed chief executive to take the trust forward.”