Stephen Ramsden, chief executive of Luton and Dunstable Hospital Foundation Trust, has announced he will be leaving the trust in the spring of 2010 after 12 years in the post.

Mr Ramsden, who is also chair of the national Patient Safety First campaign’s core team, plans to pursue a new career as an independent consultant working with the NHS.

Luton and Dunstable was recently rated best hospital in the East of England in the Care Quality Commission’s ratings, while the Dr Foster hospital guide this week ranked it the second best hospital in the East of England on a range of safety measures.

Luton and Dunstable chair Soraya Dhillon said: “Stephen has brought inspirational leadership, courage and vision to the hospital and has transformed the L&D into one of the best foundation trusts in the country.  He has always demonstrated a passion for improving the safety of our patients and valuing and supporting our staff. 

“I would like to thank Stephen both personally and on behalf of the board and congratulate him on these achievements.  We wish him every success in the future.”

A spokeswoman for Patient Safety First said: “The news of Stephen Ramsden’s resignation as CEO of Luton and Dunstable Hospital has no impact on his role and involvement with Patient Safety First.

“As a long standing advocate for patient safety improvement we have no doubt that Stephen will continue to make a major contribution to helping the NHS in putting patient safety first.”