NHS London’s chief executive Ruth Carnall has said it is her “firm intention” to stay in post following the resignation of two of its directors.

Chair Sir Richard Sykes and non-executive director Gerry Acher resigned this week in response to health secretary Andrew Lansley’s decision to “halt” implementation of its reconfiguration programme, Healthcare for London.

Other non-executives are understood to be considering resigning.

In a letter to NHS chief executives in London, published today, Ms Carnall made clear she did not intend to join them.

Read the letter in full

She said: “Please be assured that it is my firm intention to stay and see this change programme through with you. These are exciting but challenging times which will require exemplary leadership behaviour from us all.”

Ms Carnall said in the next few weeks she would “consult widely across London to hear people’s views about how we can meet the secretary of state’s challenge [to come up with a new way to improve services] and as a result take forward improvement in services to our patients with ambition and pace”.

She said: “It is my role to provide leadership to the NHS in London through this transitional phase.”

Ms Carnall was appointed chief executive in 2007 by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, who had previously held the NHS London post. In the same year Sir Ara Darzi published the results of a review of how to improve health and healthcare in the capital, A Framework for Action, and the NHS under Ms Carnall has begun implementing its proposals.

This has included building several health centres, or polyclinics, developing proposals to build more and to centralise some hospital services, and agreeing plans to improve stroke and trauma services by centralising specialist care. Some of this has upset GPs.


London SHA chair resigns