WORKFORCE: The chair of East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust has retired.

Nicholas Wells had expected to retire in August. However, in February he announced he would retire at the end of April. This earlier departure was “primarily driven by the benefits to the organisation of having a new chair in place in the spring”, he said.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Nicholas Wells became chair of East Kent Hospitals University FT in 2007

The trust has not yet appointed a new chair.

The FT had hoped to have a new chair in place in the spring so they would have six months in post before appointing new non-executive directors at the end of the year.

Mr Wells said: “The timing of my slightly earlier than expected departure is primarily driven by the benefits to the organisation of having a new chair in place in the spring, who will then be well placed to establish strong relationships with new and existing members of the board and build a development programme to ensure it provides the calibre of leadership [the trust] requires and deserves.”

The trust has recently seen a change in leadership.

Previous chief executive, Stuart Bain, retired in March and was replaced by interim Chris Bown. Mr Bown was most recently interim managing director at County Hospital in Stafford.

The trust was placed in special measures in August last year after the Care Quality Commission identified a “worrying disconnect” between trust management and frontline staff.

Mr Wells added: “I have been extremely privileged to be a non-executive director of [the trust] since 2001 and its chair since 2007.There have been many great achievements over this time, all of them the result of the hard work and dedication of the trust’s fantastic staff, of whom I am immensely proud. I will always be an enthusiastic ambassador for [the trust] and wish the organisation well as it strives to restore the positive reputation it deserves.”