Professor Roger Boyle, England's national director for heart disease and stroke, said his concerns over the current reorganisation played a part in his decision to retire.
‘I’m partly leaving because I’m opposed to the substantial reorganisation of a service that I love deeply and that is regarded across the world as very efficient,’ he said.
The NHS Improvement event in London on Monday was entitled 'Celebrating clinical leadership in heart and stroke care: the improvement story so far'.
At the event, Professor Mike Richards, national clinical director for cancer in England, and Professor Bruce Keogh, DoH medical director, spoke of Professor Boyle's pivotal role in achieving the falls in CVD mortality and morbidity in England over the past decade.
Professor Boyle said the NHS overhaul risked a loss of relationships and organisation memory.
‘The thing that I’m most worried about at the moment is that, by tossing out SHAs and PCTs and maybe changing the [clinical] networks, relationships will be lost,’ he said.
‘Collaboration is about people trusting each other, learning from each other and developing a common purpose,’ he said. ‘What we need at the moment, at least in the short term, is stability, not more change because there is enough of that going on.’
He added: ‘We’ve tried things and they haven’t worked and we need to learn from that as well. Otherwise what the NHS does in repeated cycles, is just relearn the same old lessons time and time and time again.’