Both the chief executive and chairman of an under-fire NHS foundation trust are to leave, it has been announced.

Medway Foundation Trust in Kent said chairman Denise Harker and chief executive Mark Devlin felt “the time is right” to move on.

In a statement, the trust said Ms Harker had led it through a “particularly challenging and difficult period over the last two years”.

The trust was one of 11 placed in special measures last July following what health secretary Jeremy Hunt described as “fundamental breaches of care” uncovered in the Keogh Review.

Referring to Medway, Mr Hunt said last year that a public consultation “heard stories of poor communication with patients, poor management of deteriorating patients, inappropriate referrals and medical interventions, delayed discharges and long A&E waiting times”.

Last December, a major report by health statistics firm Dr Foster named Medway as having higher than expected death rates among patients in hospital.

Arrangements to replace Ms Harker and Mr Devlin are expected to be announced next month, with the pair working with their successors to achieve a handover of leadership.

Ms Harker said: “We have some amazing and dedicated staff at this trust and I am proud to have worked with them.”

Mr Devlin said: “After four years as chief executive, I feel this is the right moment to move on and encourage a new leadership to build on what’s been achieved and take the trust forward into its next phase.”

Colin Wilby, the trust’s senior independent director, said: “Their commitment to public service is indisputable and we wish them both every success in the future.”