THE boss of a scandal-hit NHS trust has stepped down from his job after three decades working for the health service.

On Wednesday, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) announced that chief executive Colin Martin, who has been in the role since 2016, will be stepping down next spring.

Mr Martin’s tenure in the top job – which pays a total of £205,000 a year – has seen him oversee a troubled time for the trust.

In August, Middlesbrough’s West Lane Hospital was ordered to close following the deaths of two patients within two months.

A subsequent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the hospital as inadequate and said patients were at high risk of “avoidable harm” which resulted in the CQC taking “urgent action” to close the hospital.

It followed the deaths of 17-year-old Christie Harnett in June, and Nadia Sharif, also 17, who died on August 9.

Structural problems at Roseberry Park Hospital meant as many as 50 patients had to be transferred to Hartlepool in 2017 due to problems with the building.

Fire safety woes, roof defects and plumbing problems have dogged the hospital, in Middlesbrough, since it opened in 2010.

But problems have persisted and this year a report by a special task force warned that “rectification work” by TEWV “may take four to five years” at the site with no definite end date in sight.

Mr Martin joined the NHS in 1985, working in the finance department at Poole Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Prior to being appointed as chief executive he was director of finance and played a key role in TEWV becoming a foundation trust in 2006.

He previously was director of finance for Tees and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Speaking of his retirement he said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to have been chief executive of the organisation since 2016 and to have worked in the NHS for so many years.

“When I first started working for the NHS almost 34 years ago I could not have imagined the enjoyable and rewarding career that lay ahead of me.

“Whilst I have been planning my retirement for the past few months it is still a difficult decision to make as it’s an organisation and a role that I’m really passionate about.

“However, as attitudes to mental health in this country continue to change for the better, I firmly believe that the trust and its services will go from strength to strength in the future.

“I’m proud of all that has been achieved across the trust’s mental health and learning disability services – and the positive impact these achievements have had on service users and carers.

“I’m also thankful to have had the opportunity to work with colleagues, both in the trust and in the wider health and social care community, who are committed to improving the lives of local people.”

Trust chairman, Miriam Harte, added: “Colin has had a long and successful career within the NHS and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him since I was appointed earlier this year.

“I would like to thank Colin on behalf of the trust board for his continued dedication to TEWV and to the NHS. He is a great leader and it’s clear just how passionate he is about patient care, continually improving services and making the trust a great place to work for our staff. ”

TEWV said the process to find a replacement chief executive will begin early in the New Year.