THE chief executive of the trust in charge of Oxfordshire's community hospitals has postponed his retirement.

Stuart Bell was due to hand over the top job at Oxford Health to Dr Nick Broughton at the end of the month but due to the coronavirus emergency will now stay in the role until June 14.

Mr Bell said: “This is the biggest collective endeavour the NHS has undertaken and all of us are having to work differently to rise to the occasion.

"I am glad to be able to continue to play my part in this, and to work with our staff and partners to ensure the people we serve, indeed all of us, get the health services we need.”

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The decision was agreed by the NHS foundation trust's board of directors.

Dr Broughton, who is the current chief executive at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, will now take up his role on June 15.

This is to allow for a 'smooth transition' during the pandemic.

David Walker, Oxford Health chair, said: “Stuart was due to retire from the NHS at the end of April.

“He has generously agreed to stay on at a critical time to lead our collective efforts to meet the Covid-19 challenge.

"The new arrangement helps our neighbours in Southern Health adjust as Nick’s successor takes over.”