Published: 17/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5947 Page 8

Bradford teaching hospitals foundation trust chief executive David Jackson is to leave the financially troubled organisation.

Mr Jackson announced on Tuesday that he was to take early retirement from his£135,000 a year post after 35 years in the NHS.

The trust is forecasting a deficit of£11.3m this year, and last December he insisted he would 'absolutely not' resign after trust chair John Ryan was sacked by Monitor, the foundation trusts regulator.

Earlier this month Mr Jackson admitted that the trust was likely to lose its three-star status this summer because it will fail one of the Healthcare Commission's key indicators on financial performance.

Monitor would not comment on Mr Jackson's resignation. But a Monitor spokesman added that if a foundation trust lost a star the regulator 'would want to know why'.

'In the case of Bradford, we understand that it would be because of the financial management and this itself [losing a star] is not something the regulator needs to get involved in.'

Mr Jackson said: I have been considering retiring from the NHS for some time, but I very much wanted to ensure continuity and stability for the hospitals, its patients and staff by leading the trust in the run-up to becoming a new foundation trust last April and during the first-year challenges of its new life.' The trust's chief nurse and director of hospital services, Rose Stephens, will become interim chief executive once Mr Jackson steps down at the end of the month.