WORKFORCE: Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Ed Donald has returned from a period on leave following what is believed to be an attempt by some board members to oust him.

The trust announced Mr Donald was on indefinite annual leave in early December. However a statement issued by the trust shortly before Christmas said: “The trust is keen to end the current speculation around its leadership.  

“Chief executive Ed Donald has now returned from his period of leave. The chairman and non-executive directors are committed to working with the chief executive, and their partners to ensure the trust continues to deliver high quality patient care and effective financial management in the most challenging operating environment that the NHS and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has faced.”

Sources close to the organisation suggested that the trust’s leadership had been the subject of a board-level dispute. HSJ understands that Mr Donald’s survival was due to the backing of the foundation trust’s consultants and its board of governors.