• Mid and South Essex STP chair to stand down in September
  • Anita Donley will stand aside after more than three years in post
  • STP has started search for new chair

The independent chair of the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership will stand down later this year.

Anita Donley, a consultant physician who has been in post for more than three-and-a-half years, will leave in September once a successor has been appointed, the STP announced.

The highly-challenged STP, which faces significant financial and performance issues, has already begun its search for a replacement for the part-time role.

The two-day-a-week post has a £60,000 salary, according to the job advert. Applications must be submitted by the end of May and interviews will be held in late July.

Dr Donley, a former clinical vice president of the Royal College of Physicians, said in a statement it had been a “tremendous privilege” to do the role. The time was, however, right “to hand over the baton as the partnership continues the journey to… become a fully integrated care system by 2021,” she added.

Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust chair Sheila Salmon, who is also chair of the STP’s chairs’ group, will oversee the recruitment process.

She said: “[Dr Donley’s] tenure has seen [the STP] go from strength to strength in working together to tackle the big health and care issues that challenge us all and we wish her all the very best.”

Mid and South Essex STP area, which was one of three “success regime” areas given extra performance management assistance by system leaders since 2015, ran a systemwide deficit of around £100m last year.

The STP’s three acute providers are also in the middle of a controversial merger and clinical reorganisation, which has referred to health secretary Matt Hancock by a local council.