WORKFORCE: Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Diane Whittingham will step down in March 2012, she has announced.

Ms Whittingham has announced she is planning to leave the NHS. She is a well respected chief executive and has worked in the service or more than 30 years.

She was previously chief executive of Huddersfield NHS Trust and was appointed to lead the merged Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust in April 2001, and has previously worked in the West Midlands, Manchester and Lancashire. The trust was authorised to become a foundation trust in 2006.

During 2009 she was appointed as chief executive of East Lancashire trust while also running Calderdale and Huddersfield. Mr Whittingham has also been a member of the Foundation Trust Network board.

Recruitment is underway for a replacement.