The chief executive of Epsom and St Helier Trust, Samantha Jones, announced she would be leaving her job at the end of December.

Mrs Jones, who has been at the trust since 2007, and with the NHS since 1989, is leaving to join Care UK, an independent health and social care provider, as the regional director for healthcare services in south England.

She said: “Choosing to leave the trust and the NHS at this time has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever taken. However, the role with Care UK is extremely exciting and will allow me to use and build on all the things I have learned from my time in the NHS.

“Importantly for me, the new role is also based closer to where I live, so I will be able to spend more time with my family, including my two 15 month old twins Leo and Ellie.”

Trust chairman John Davey said: “Sam will be missed by us all. She is extremely popular with the staff and volunteers, and has really turned the organisation around.

“Sam played a critical role in securing the Government’s approval of our plans to spend £219m on a major redevelopment of St Helier Hospital and it will undoubtedly remain as one of her key legacies.”

The chairman of the trust is working with NHS London to find a replacement for Mrs Jones.