The chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust (QEH) has stood down.

Edward Libbey announced his resignation on Monday.

It comes just weeks after the King’s Lynn hospital was placed in special measures for a second time by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Mr Libbey said the decision had not been “taken lightly”. In a statement he said: “After much consideration I have decided to stand down as chair of the board and governors’ council of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with immediate effect. This is not a decision I have come to lightly and I am sad to be leaving.  

“However, the end of my second and final term of office is approaching and I feel certain that the time is now right for me to depart.

“While many of the problems highlighted in the QEH’s CQC report are already being addressed, underlying the report is the requirement for significant cultural change within the organisation. Cultural change takes time and the work needed to deliver it must start immediately.  

“Having occupied this seat for approaching five years, I believe a change in board leadership is the right thing for the trust at this point.

“While fully accepting the issues identified by the CQC, I should also like to say how proud I am of the many achievements that have been made at the trust during my time here.

“I grew up in King’s Lynn and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital holds a special place in my heart. The esteem in which the hospital is held in the community and the dedication of its staff has been, and will continue to be, a source of great pride for me.” 

He thanked staff and  board colleagues and said it had been a  “privilege” to have been part of the hospital.

Vice-chairman David Thomason will take on the role until a new appointment is made.

In paying tribute, Dale Bywater, NHS improvement’s executive regional managing director, thanked Mr Libbey for his dedication. And North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said Mr Libbey had been doing an “excellent job”.

“While it is highly unfortunate the QEH has gone back into special measures I do have every confidence in their new recovery plan and I do think it is very sad Edward will not be there to see this through.”