David Astley has announced his decision to step down as chief executive of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust in south west London.

Since he joined St George’s Healthcare in December 2006 the trust has become a major trauma centre, a hyper-acute stroke unit and, in October 2010, successfully integrated with community services Wandsworth. In addition, St George’s Healthcare was named `Large trust of the year` by Dr Foster Intelligence for 2009.

Speaking about his decision David said: “I had always planned to retire from the NHS when I reached the age of sixty which is now just two years away. The board’s recent decision to delay our Foundation Trust (FT) application to April 2013 has led me to consider my position. It is important that the trust has a chief executive who can drive the organisation forward to achieving its goals for 2013 and beyond. Therefore I have taken the difficult decision, in the long-term interests of the trust, to step down. I am immensely proud of what has been achieved during my time at St George’s Healthcare although none of this would have been possible without the support, hard work and dedication of colleagues from across the organisation.”

Naaz Coker, chair of St George’s Healthcare said: “On behalf of the trust board I would like to thank David for the valuable work he has done over the past four years. David has decided to step down now to allow a new leader to take St George’s forward as a foundation trust. David is very well respected by his colleagues and will be missed at the trust and we all wish him well for the future.”

Ruth Carnall, chief executive of NHS London, said: “David’s leadership over the past four years has been instrumental in the transformation of many of St George’s services. The trust is now amongst the best in the country for its care of stroke patients, heart disease and major trauma. With his support, a number of the trust’s leading doctors have also been involved in clinically-led reforms to improve health services across the capital. “

The trust has started the process of appointing a new chief executive and, in the meantime, Patrick Mitchell, chief operating officer, will act up in an interim capacity.

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact the communications team at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust on 020 8725 5151 or emailcommunications@stgeorges.nhs.uk. Outside working hours, please page the team by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.