Averil Dongworth, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has retired.

The trust was placed in special measures in December after the Care Quality Commission raised concerns about patient safety at both King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

The news, confirmed today by the trust, comes after the resignation of trust chairman, Sir Peter Dixon, in Fabruary.

The report said leadership had failed to improve services despite previous warnings.

Inspectors found unsafe care in A&E departments at both hospitals and blamed a lack of full-time consultants and middle grade doctors.

Poor management of hospital capacity and discharge procedures were also said to be putting patients’ lives at risk.

However, the hospitals were commended for their at-home care services and stroke treatment.

The A&E department at King George has been earmarked for closure.

Ms Dongworth was chief executive of the trust for three years and worked as an NHS nurse before moving into hospital management in 1991.

A spokeswoman from the trust said: "Her retirement was planned and was always known to be the end of March 2013.  This was mentioned in previous Trust Board papers and also in the Health Service Journal in Dec 2013."

The Guardian in awaiting further information from BHRUT.