St George's Hospital Chief Steps Down

David Astley makes "difficult decision" to retire early

The chief executive of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust has announced he is to step down.

David Astley will be retiring because of a board decision to delay its Foundation Trust application due to financial issues.

Mr Astley 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.”

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.

Mr Astley’s decision comes at a particularly tough time for St George’s as it faces huge cuts.

A temporary chief executive is now in place while the trust finds Mr Astley’s replacement.

May 10, 2011