THE chair of NHS Devon has left her post with immediate effect.  

Dr Sarah Wollaston was appointed to her position on the county’s Integrated Care Board (ICB), which is in special measures due to its financial deficit, in December 2021.  

She said: “It has not been an easy decision, but I believe the time is right for me to step back to allow a new chair to work with the board on delivering the performance and financial plans for this year and beyond.  

“Since I was appointed to the role in December 2021, I have been hugely proud of the way partners across Devon have worked together to improve services, including pioneering work in elective care at the Nightingale Hospital, delivering millions of Covid vaccinations, improving 111, reducing waiting times and forging new ways of working together in provider collaboratives.  

“I am delighted that NHS Devon has an excellent chief executive officer in Steve Moore, who took up the reins in February, and I firmly believe that under his leadership, the system will work together and deliver the improvements local people need and deserve.  

“I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had in the NHS. I would like to thank the wonderful and dedicated people I work with at NHS Devon, as well as my colleagues from previous roles over the years.”  

NHS Devon Deputy Chair Kevin Orford has been made interim chair. NHS England South West is responsible for appointing Sarah’s permanent successor.  

Elizabeth O’Mahony, South West Regional Director at NHS England, said: “I want to thank Sarah for stepping in to the role of interim chair for NHS Devon and for staying in it for over three years, which was much longer than originally planned.  

“She has made a valuable contribution and now feels the time is right for another colleague to support the system during the next phase of its development.  

“We will now make arrangements to appoint a substantive chair and in the meantime welcome Kevin, as an experienced member of the board, who is stepping into the role on an interim basis.”