STRUCTURE: The chair of Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust has resigned without explanation.

Colin Maclean stepped down late on March 2.

The trust issued a statement on his behalf, but no reason was given for his departure. A permanent replacement has not yet been appointed, but deputy chair Irene Inskip is currently “acting chair”.

Earlier this year the trust’s governors launched an inquiry into the board after a dispute over a decision to effectively suspend chief executive Ed Donald last December.

Mr Donald returned from a period on indefinite leave after winning the support of clinicians in the hospital and in the wider local health economy.

Governors raised concerns following an outcry from local clinicians. Consultants at the trust “very affirmatively backed him [Mr Donald]”, and there was also strong support from GPs and social care staff, sources said.

Mr Maclean’s statement read: “I am very proud of the Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust and its achievements under my chairmanship. I have seen it move from a challenged organisation to a foundation trust in five years and on to become the most successful acute trust in the South Central strategic health authority, achieving the role of ‘third centre’ in hyper acute cardiac and stroke care, and in the development of the cancer centre to become one of only three in the SHA area.

“The trust has been an initiator of new treatments and techniques, and has a reputation for winning national prizes and accolades for the way in which it adds value to healthcare and for the quality of service and safety it provides for its patients. Its clinicians are early adopters of new technology, showing the way to many others.

“It does all of this because of the quality and commitment of its people – all of them.  The ‘can do’ spirit attracts clinicians and others to the trust, where they benefit from its leading position in teaching and developing young clinicians and nurses.

“It’s been a privilege to have worked with such people and I wish them all well in the future.”