CHIEF executive Angela Jordan, who came under fire in the wake of an inspection that flagged up poor morale and a bullying culture at Prospect Hospice, has resigned.

The Wroughton charity is currently being led by Irene Watkins, an interim chief operating officer who joined the organisation in August, while it begins the process of recruiting a new chief executive.

Tim Willis, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement: “The board of trustees thanks Angela for her passion and contribution to Prospect Hospice and we wish her every success in her future life beyond Prospect Hospice."

“The board and the rest of the senior leadership team have already started planning for Angela’s successor. Whilst this happens, Irene Watkins, the interim chief operating officer, will continue to lead the organisation as we face the ongoing challenges set for us by the Care Quality Commission.

He said: "As we now look to the future, we are confident that thanks to the great team of staff across the hospice, as well as our valued volunteers, we will continue going from strength to strength.”

Asked whether her departure was linked to the allegations of bullying highlighted following a Care Quality Commission inspection earlier this year, the charity would only say: "Angela Jordan resigned from Prospect Hospice for personal reasons."

The hospice was visited in February by inspectors following an anonymous letter from a member of staff, which claimed there were staff shortages and there had been a rise in the number of clinical incidents.

Claims of bullying within the in-patient unit last year led to a series of workshops intended to create a more positive culture, but one went wrong and a member broke down in tears. A director was later made to apologise for the way the session had been managed.

There was also criticism of the way some patients were treated. The CQC pointed to the high number of vacancies, increasing staff sickness and the number of errors in handling medicines.

It said no unsafe practices had been seen during the inspection, but there was concern that the trustee board did not receive regular information on key issues.