NHS Suffolk chief executive Carole Taylor-Brown announced she is stepping down at the end of September due to health reasons.

Ms Taylor-Brown, who helped eradicate the primary care trust’s £35m historic debt, has been advised to reduce her work commitments to help cope with persistent and severe pain, which resulted from a serious spinal infection following her recovery from breast cancer in 2008.

She said: “This has been a tough decision for me but does give me the opportunity to restructure my life following the advice of my doctors, to have a better balance between my professional commitments and my personal time for rest, exercise and relaxation.”

PCT chair Alastair McWhirter said: “The board and I are very sorry to lose her yet understand her decision to leave. We wish her all the very best for the future.

“She has done a remarkable job here in Suffolk and we look forward to building on that over the next few years.”