The chair of Greenwich Healthcare trust has resigned as it struggles to cope with a £6m overspend on its £94m annual budget.

The resignation of Richard Baglin came as the trust received the final version of an internal investigation by auditors KPMG. It revealed shortcomings in the trust's financial management.

Income from purchasers was below target, efficiency savings did not deliver, staffing costs in intensive care and depreciation charges were higher than expected, the auditors found.

Mr Baglin, who had been chair since 1995, was not available for comment.

However, London regional office made it clear that he 'was not in any way personally culpable'.

Regional office chair Ian Mills said: 'Richard has done the honourable thing in accepting ultimate responsibility and tendering his resignation.'

The trust is currently negotiating a recovery plan with Bexley and Greenwich health authority and London regional office. But it was unable to say when the plan might be completed or whether it would affect patient care.

The crisis has forced Greenwich primary care group to seek deferment of its primary care trust bid.

Chief executive Jane Schofield said: 'We had strong support for our bid to go forward in October this year, but clearly with a recovery plan being put together this was difficult timing.

'We have asked the minister not to consider it at this stage, with a view to us resubmitting for a start well before April 2001.'

Greenwich community health council was highly critical of the trust's handling of the crisis.

Chief officer Celia Davies said: 'The resignation of Mr Baglin should not be seen as an end to the matter because the ramifications go on. We are not saying more heads must roll, but it is too simplistic to say it was the trust's fault and that the chair must go.'

The situation reflected historical underfunding in Greenwich, which contains some of the poorest wards in the country, she said.

Ms Davies called for the trust to publish the KPMG report in full and for a rapid agreement on the recovery plan.

Trust chief executive Alan Perkins said he could not publish the report because it identified individuals.

However, its findings would be discussed in public meetings and with the CHC. He did not anticipate any more resignations.

The cash crisis would have no impact on the commissioning or development of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the trust stressed.