Rachel said: “First of all, I would like to send my best wishes to Michelle and to thank her for all that she has done for the Trust since her appointment as Chief Executive in March 2017. There have been tangible signs of improvement at the Trust under her leadership and I hope this momentum continues under Michelle’s successor.

“It is now of paramount importance that a successor is appointed as quickly as possible. I have already spoken to David Nicholson, Chairman of the Acute Trust and the Department for Health and Social Care. I understand that the recruitment process is already underway. We need strong leadership to continue Michelle’s good work and I’m confident this can be achieved.”