WORKFORCE: The chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust has announced he is resigning with immediate effect.

Mark Brearley had led the provider since May 2011. He was at the helm when the trust was included in NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh’s review of trusts with high mortality rates earlier this year.

When the Keogh review was published this summer, it concluded that staffing on some wards at the trust were “insufficient to meet the basic needs of patients”. It also found that the nursing workforce needed “more leadership, direction and support to achieve acceptable standards of care”.

Acting trust chairman Martin Hill thanked Mr Brearley for his work, and said his leadership had been “critical in developing our action plan” to respond to areas highlighted by the Keogh review.

Director of finance Jonathan Wood has been appointed acting chief executive, with a permanent replacement expected in the new year.