The chair of West London Mental Health Trust has announced he is stepping down, midway through his second term.

Nigel McCorkell this week announced he was retiring and would no longer chair the trust, which runs community mental health services in three London boroughs as well as the Broadmoor high security hospital.

Nigel McCorkell

Nigel McCorkell was described as ‘a true champion’ of the trust’s patients

Mr McCorkell has been chair of the organisation since January 2009 and was reappointed for a second four year term in 2013.

The former accountant said he was retiring because the trust’s application date for foundation trust status had slipped to 2016.

In a statement he said: “The term of my appointment as chairman ends before I could see the [foundation trust] process through to its proper conclusion.

“As a result, I have decided the best course of action is to retire now and make way for a new chair to see the trust through this next phase of its development.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said the trust’s target date for this was now late 2016, and Mr McCorkell’s term expired in January 2017.

Under the 2006 NHS Act, Mr McCorkell would be expected to serve 12 months from the date at which West London gained foundation trust status, although he could step down earlier if he chose.

The spokeswoman said the delay was because of changes in the Care Quality Commission’s inspection system.

Trust chief executive Steve Shrubb said: “On behalf of the board and staff of the trust, I want to thank Nigel for his enormous contribution to the effective running of the trust and his tireless commitment to improving the care of some of the most vulnerable patients in the NHS.

“He is a true champion of our patients and his wise counsel and support will be greatly missed.”