THE chief executive of the NHS trust running Queen Alexandra Hospital has quit.
Ursula Ward held the position at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust for 12 years before announcing her departure today.
Ursula has taken the decision to leave her position, having successfully held the position of chief executive for 12 yearsPortsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust spokeswoman
A statement from the trust said: ‘Under Ursula’s leadership we have always put the patient at the centre of everything we do here in Portsmouth, and we remain focused on our patient-centred care.
‘Ursula has taken the decision to leave her position, having successfully held the position of chief executive for 12 years.
‘The board would like to thank Ursula for her valued contribution and dedication and wish her every success in the future.
‘The search for a new chief executive will start immediately and in the immediate term arrangements have been made to appoint Tim Powell, director of workforce and organisational development, as interim chief executive.’
Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, has paid tribute to Mrs Ward’s work.
The MP said: ‘She, in the history of the NHS, is the first chief executive to have come from a nursing background and she’s worked at the QA for many many years, many years before she was the chief executive.’
Ms Mordaunt added: ‘She has overseen a massive transformation for the better in the hospital.
‘One of the first big things that she tackled when then head of nursing was the massive hospital infection rates that were absolutely rife and Portsmouth was one of the worst in the country.
‘She played a vital part in turning that around.’
She added: ‘We should pay her a huge tribute and thank her for all her service to the hospital, its staff and the local community.’
Mrs Ward held the role at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust for 12 years.
She was initially appointed to the trust in August 1999 as director of nursing and midwifery and was then appointed as deputy chief executive in 2002.
She has a clinical background, predominantly in cardiology and cancer care, as well as a background in research.
She spent a number of years in general management before joining Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.