The chief executive of one of the five trusts in special measures since 2013 has resigned.

Paul O’Connor announced he was stepping down as chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust last week.

Paul O'Connor

Paul O’Connor joined the FT at a ‘particularly challenging time for the trust’

Human resources director Karen Fisher will be interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is found.

The trust was in the first wave of 11 trusts to be placed in special measures after a review by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

The initial inspection found poor patient satisfaction and an unsatisfactory ratio of trained nurses to untrained staff.

Mr O’Connor joined the trust from Barnsley Hospital FT in June 2013.

Then interim trust chair Chris Mellor said at the time Mr O’Connor would bring stability to the trust after a period in which the trust had five chief executives over two years.

Mr Mellor said: “We need an experienced, permanent chief executive who can provide the continuity of leadership and direction that, until recently, has been sadly lacking. In Paul O’Connor, I believe we have the right man for the job.”

Speaking after the announcement last week, current chair Sean Lyons said: “After almost two years in post Paul O’Connor has decided that he has taken the trust as far as he can on its recovery journey and has left his position as chief executive to pursue alternative career options.

“Paul was appointed at a particularly challenging time for the trust which, shortly after his appointment, was subject to the Keogh review, resulting in the trust being placed in special measures.

“During his time as chief executive Paul has worked with the executive team to help the trust on its journey to sustainable recovery. He has fulfilled all of the requirements of the Keogh review, including eliminating backlogs, moving key services and creating a sustainable strategy for Newark Hospital as an ambulatory, diagnostic and day case centre.

“He has established and made progress against the trust’s quality improvement plan, and has encouraged and supported the Mid Nottinghamshire Better Together programme to create a successful vanguard application for new models of service provision.

“On behalf of the board of directors I would like to thank Paul for his service to the trust and wish him well in his future activities.”