Rob Webster, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has resigned ahead of taking over at the South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust.

The trust’s chief executive, Steven Michael, will retire at the end of March after nine years as chief executive.

Rob Webster

Rob Webster

Rob Webster has worked at trusts and the Department of Health

Mr Webster joined the NHS Confederation as chief executive in February 2014 after leaving his previous role at Leeds Community Healthcare Trust.

He said: “It has been a privilege to lead the NHS Confederation and to represent our members during a critical period for the health and care system. I would like to thank the staff, trustees, partners and members for all of their support. The time is now right for me to return to frontline care.

“I have said often that being a chief executive in the NHS is one of the best jobs in the world. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead the South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust and to be much closer to my home in Leeds. I shall work with the trustees and members to ensure a smooth handover to my successor.”

Mr Webster has worked in healthcare since 1990, including at the Department of Health and as director of the prime minister’s delivery unit in the Cabinet Office. He is a visiting professor in health and care at Leeds Beckett University and a trustee of Leeds Mencap.

Stephen Dorrell, chair of the NHS Confederation, said: “The trustees of the confederation join me in congratulating Rob on his new appointment and thanking him for the contribution he has made to the development of the NHS Confederation.

”Rob is both well liked and well respected throughout the NHS, and has made an important contribution to building the confederation as the authentic voice of the NHS and we are grateful for the support he has given to strengthening the organisation.”