LIVERPOOL University Hospitals NHS Trust’s chief executive, Steve Warburton, is stepping down a week after the health watchdog raised concerns over patient safety.
The Care Quality Commission criticised long waits in emergency departments at the trust’s Aintree and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
It was reported that a snap inspection in July, which looked at the emergency departments and surgical wards and theatres, found a problem with the flow of patients.
Mr Warburton led Aintree Hospital for four years before its merger with Royal Liverpool in 2019.
The trust said Sir David Dalton would take over as the interim leader.
Mr Warburton said: “It has been the greatest honour and privilege of my professional career to have served for the past six and a half years as firstly the chief executive of Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and then latterly for the past two years leading Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“I have led the organisation through the merger process bringing Aintree University Hospital together with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals that resulted in the creation of Liverpool University Hospitals, which is now one of the largest University Hospitals in the country.
“After considerable thought and personal reflection, acknowledging there is never an ideal time for these decisions, now feels like the right point for this change to happen for me personally and for the Trust.
“Therefore, the time has now come for me to pursue a different challenge within the NHS, including finding a better balance between my work commitments and my family life.
LUHFT chair, Sue Musson added: “On behalf of the organisation I want to offer our sincere gratitude to Steve for all that he has done and all that he has achieved over the last 15 years with Aintree University Hospital and latterly with Liverpool University Hospitals and for the leadership he has provided as chief executive over the last six and a half years.
“Steve has been a valued colleague, and we have benefited from his calm leadership, dedication and loyal service as chief executive over the last six and a half years and particularly throughout the pandemic which has been such a challenging time.”
Mr Warburton will be joining the Integrated Care System, Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, on a secondment in a strategic leadership role.
Sir David Dalton will join LUHFT as its interim chief executive for the next six months.
Trust spokesperson said: “Sir David is recognised for being a pioneering chief executive and one of the most influential NHS leaders.
“He brings unrivalled experience and a track record of delivery in the areas of patient safety, quality improvement, driving up standards of care and leading culture change.
“In the coming weeks the Trust will begin the process for the recruitment of a substantive chief executive.”