WORKFORCE: The chair of Plymouth Hospitals Trust has announced he is stepping down to spend more time on his work as a military strategist.

Commodore Steven Jermy announced his departure yesterday, citing competing demands on his time from his military lecturing and consulting work as well as running a renewable energy company.

Peter Burroughs has taken on the role of acting chair.

The trust currently has an interim chief executive, Helen O’Shea, who replaced Paul Roberts in July.

In a statement Commodore Jermy said: “I have decided, very reluctantly, to submit my resignation as chair, due to competing pressures on my time from my other business activities.

“Over the concluding months of 2011, I have been faced with an increasing number of invitations to lecture and consult on strategy, both in the UK and abroad. This is great news for me but together with a significant additional workload arising from my other area of interest, a renewable energy company which I co-own, this means I cannot take the board and the hospital trust forward in the way that is needed.

“It is clear to me that, as Plymouth Hospital Trust’s journey toward foundation trust gathers pace, the chair will need to invest even more time, which, given these emergent and competing pressures, I am no longer confident I can give. It seems best, therefore, for me to stand down now, so that a new chair may be put in place.”

He became chair in November 2010 and was due to complete his term in October 2014.

The trust has committed to submitting its foundation trust application to the Department of Health this September.