The chief executive of Wye Valley NHS Trust is to retire.

After a period of sick leave, Martin Woodford, is taking voluntary early retirement from the NHS at the end of September 2012.

Making the announcement this afternoon, Martin said: "It has been a privilege to work with such a dedicated group of staff, without whom none of the landmark events of recent years, from the creation of the new Cancer Unit, to the formation of Wye Valley NHS Trust itself, would have been possible.

"I will always carry fond memories of my time in the county and will watch future developments with interest.”

Mark Curtis, trust Chairman, said: "I would like to place on record my appreciation of Martin’s contribution to health and social care in Herefordshire and in particular his tireless efforts in helping to create, in Wye Valley NHS Trust, the leading provider of integrated services in England. He will be very much missed.”

Martin worked as a finance director of the Gloucestershire Royal NHS Trust then chief executive of Powys Healthcare NHS Trust before joining Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust as director of finance in 2004. He became chief executive in 2007 and remained at the helm when the Wye Valley Trust formed last April.