WORKFORCE: The chief executive of the Wye Valley Trust, Martin Woodford, has taken voluntary early retirment after a period of sick leave, it has been announced.

Mr Woodford will leave the NHS at the end of September 2012 after a 33 year career in public service.

He became chief executive of Wye Valley Trust, the first integrated provider of acute, community and adult social care in England, in April 2011 after becoming CEO at the Hereford Hospitals Trust in January 2007.

The £160m turnover trust paused its foundation trust application earlier this year after started the financial year with a £15m deficit. The trust has had to seek support from commissioners for £9.5m to fill its funding gap after a £5.5m cost reduction programme.

Mr Woodford previously served as finance director from 2004 with the Hereford trust and prior to that was chief executive at the Powys Healthcare NHS Trust, and finance director at the Gloucestershire Royal Trust.

A qualified accountant Mr Woodford began his career in local government in 1979 before joining the NHS in 1986.

In a statement he said: “It has been a privilege to work with such a dedicated group of staff, without whom none of the landmark events of recent years, from the creation of the new cancer unit, to the formation of Wye Valley NHS Trust itself, would have been possible. I will always carry fond memories of my time in the county and will watch future developments with interest.”

Chair Mark Curtis added: “I would like to place on record my appreciation of Martin’s contribution to health and social care in Herefordshire and in particular his tireless efforts in helping to create, in Wye Valley NHS Trust, the leading provider of integrated services in England. He will be very much missed.”