THE woman in charge of Chase Farm Hospital is leaving her post for a top job in east London, it has been announced.
Averil Dongworth is stepping down as chief executive of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust at the end of the month after seven years at the helm.
Ms Dongworth said the decision to leave was “one of the hardest” she had had to make, and she leaves as the future of hospital services in Enfield, Haringey, and Barnet remain in the balance.
She said: “When I took over the trust seven years ago, it was a very different organisation to the one it is today.
“We have made great improvements in the quality of services we deliver, we can be proud of care we provide our patients and I am pleased that the trust is now on a much more stable financial footing.
“I wish all our staff and users of our hospital services well for the future.”
Ms Dongworth has been appointed as new chief executive of the Barking Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust, which governs Queen's and King George hospitals.
Her departure comes as the NHS goes through one of the biggest shake-ups in its history.
Rachel Tyndall, chief executive of the North Central London NHS Sector, is also departing this month for a job at NHS London, and many other senior managers are expected to depart as part of drastic cost-cutting measures.
The future of services at Chase Farm is currently under scrutiny at NHS London, with recommendations on the table for the north Enfield hospital to lose maternity, children's, and 24-hour A&E services.
Baroness Wall of New Barnet, chairman of the trust, thanked MS Dongworth for her service and wished her well in her new job.
She said: “She has turned this organisation around. We have made significant improvements in the quality of care that we provide and we have achieved a financial surplus for the past two years.
“As a result, the Trust is in a very strong position to meet the challenges of the future and to continue to provide the highest quality care to local people.”
Baroness Wall has now been tasked with finding a new chief executive for the trust.