Published: 05/12/2002, Volume112 No. 5834 Page 7

Professor Richard Parish is quitting as chief executive of the Health Development Agency.

In a legally agreed statement, the agency said it was 'grateful' for his work in setting up the organisation, which was launched nearly three years ago.

It is understood that Professor Parish has been on sick leave since the summer and was expected to return to his post this month.

He became chief executive of the HDA in January 2000, when he presided over a redundancy programme to cut more than 100 jobs as the HDA replaced the Health Education Authority.

HDA directors will cover the chief executive's responsibilities until a successor is appointed.