WORKFORCE: Ipswich Hospital Trust’s chief executive has announced his departure.

Andrew Reed is leaving the trust to become programme director for acute service reconfiguration at NHS Midlands and East.

In a statement released today, Mr Reed said: “After almost seven thoroughly enjoyable years at Ipswich Hospital this is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference on a wider scale.

“Ipswich is a great hospital, but this is an opportune time for a new chief executive to pick up the reigns and see the hospital through its next stage of development. I would like to thank the many friends and colleagues, both in the hospital and beyond, who have supported me in my time here.”

Sir Neil McKay, chief executive of NHS Midlands and East, said: “I am delighted that Andrew has agreed to take up this vital role managing programmes of major service change across the SHA area. His achievements at Ipswich Hospital, along with his skills, experience and personality, make him the ideal candidate to take on such a challenging position.”

Ann Tate, chair of Ipswich Hospital, said: “Andrew has been a popular, successful and long-serving chief executive of Ipswich Hospital. While I am disappointed not to have had the opportunity to work with him, I know he is keen to develop his career and he goes with the thanks and good wishes of myself and all his colleagues.”

Ipswich has suffered financial problems in recent times. NHS East of England rejected its financial recovery plans in September last year because they relied on increased activity.

The strategic health authority’s director of finance Steve Clarke said at the time: “Ipswich is the place that is in the most difficulty [in the region]”. He said the situation at the trust was “the most concerning and carries with it the most risk”.

The trust reported a £5m deficit at the end of February but had expected to break even at the end of the year, after it was given an additional £2m in transitional support.