• QEH King’s Lynn chair stands down following CQC’s inadequate rating of trust and leadership
  • Edward Libbey said trust leadership change is “right thing to deliver significant cultural change” required
  • The Norfolk DGH trust tells HSJ no other board members are to stand down at this point

The chair of a trust recently put back into special measures has announced his resignation, adding “a change in board leadership” was needed to address the “significant cultural change” required for a turnaround.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust chairman Edward Libbey said he was “sad” to be leaving the trust, which was placed back into special measures last month after inspectors rated the hospital and its leadership inadequate.

Mr Libbey said in a statement published by the trust today: “While many of the problems highlighted in the QEH’s CQC report are already being addressed, underlying the report is the requirement for significant cultural change within the organisation.

“Cultural change takes time and the work needed to deliver it must start immediately. Having occupied this seat for approaching five years, I believe that a change in board leadership is the right thing for the trust at this point.”

It is not clear if Mr Libbey’s reference to “board leadership” change suggested other board members should consider their positions. The Norfolk district general hospital told HSJ no other board members would be standing down at present.

The £182m turnover trust was first placed into special measures in October 2013, but was taken out in summer 2015 after the CQC upgraded its rating from inadequate to requires improvement following an inspection.

The trust said it “fully accepted” the CQC’s latest findings, which rated it inadequate in the safe and well-led categories, requires improvement for effectiveness and good for caring.

The statement said vice chair David Thomason would cover the role until a new permanent appointment was made.

Mr Libbey added: “I grew up in King’s Lynn and [QEH] holds a special place in my heart. The esteem in which the hospital is held in the community and the dedication of its staff has been, and will continue to be, a source of great pride for me. I would like to thank all those staff who work so hard for our patients and my board colleagues who have supported me over the years.

“It has been a privilege to have been part of the QEH and to have served as chair of its board and I wish the trust well in the future.”

Dale Bywater, NHS Improvement’s executive regional managing director for the Midlands and East, said: “NHS Improvement would like to thank Edward for his dedication to the [QEH] and the community it serves, as well as his wider contribution to the NHS. We wish him well for the future.”