DORSET County Hospital chief executive Jean O’Callaghan is leaving the post, it has been announced.

Mrs O’Callaghan, who joined Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust (DCHFT) in 2010, has been appointed as CEO of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in Reading.

DCHFT chairman Dr Jeffrey Ellwood said: “Jean has made an outstanding contribution during her tenure as CEO and we are very sorry to see her go.

“We wish her every success in her new appointment.”

Mrs O’Callaghan said: “It hasn’t been an easy decision and I will leave with mixed feelings.

“Living and working in Dorset has been a great experience. It is a good hospital and has a bright future, playing a greater role in caring for people in community settings.”

The recruitment process will now begin to find Mrs O’Callaghan’s replacement at DCHFT and the Board is discussing interim arrangements.