WORKFORCE: The chief executive of a trust recommended for special measures is to retire at the end of the year due to ill health.

Stuart Bain, who has held the top job at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust since August 2007, was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, the trust said in a statement.

Mr Bain’s resignation was confirmed yesterday, the same day the Care Quality Commission recommended the trust be put in special measures after an inspection uncovered a “worrying disconnect” between management and frontline staff, and rated leadership at the trust as “inadequate”.

East Kent said Mr Bain shared the news of his departure with staff on 13 June and will leave in December.

In a statement he said: “The uncertainty surrounding my health means I need to question whether I can realistically remain in post until my planned retirement in 2016.

“Announcing my retirement now will give the chairman, Nicholas Wells, and the board time to appoint a new chief executive to lead the organisation and provide a smooth transition before Nick’s own retirement as chairman in August 2015.

“I have greatly appreciated working with everyone over the past seven years to put in place what I believe are solid foundations upon which the considerable strategic changes needed to sustain East Kent’s hospital services can be successfully built.

“I remain fully committed to continuing that work over the coming months.”

Trust chair Mr Wells said: “I completely understand Stuart’s decision. I am deeply grateful for all he has done for the trust and the local health economy.”

In what the trust said was an unconnected move, East Kent’s director of finance and performance management is also leaving.

Jeff Buggle is to become the new finance director of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.

He will move to the east London trust - which is also in special measures - in January.

The two departures means there will be change to the trust’s board, which in the past has been characterised by its stability.

In its inspection report, the CQC said East Kent has had a stable long standing board with only one of the seven executive directors having been recently appointed in 2013.