Hospital chief executive at Hinchingbrooke, Douglas Pattisson, resigned this afternoon (Thursday) as finance colleagues warned that the trust's deficit could top \u00A333million by next March. He will leave the hospital on September 22, he revealed in a surprise move at the end of a trust board meeting today. The Hunts Post had been expecting the move for some weeks, since it became clear that the hospital was unlikely to be able to get its finances into balance by March 31 2007, as required by the Department of Health. A predicted deficit of \u00A36.5million - \u00A34million of which had effectively been carried over from last year - turned out at \u00A37.75million as a result of reduced income and repaying the earlier debt. Its latest deficit for the current year is estimated by hospital finance chiefs to be \u00A38.83million against annual income totalling around \u00A372million. In spite of the financial position, Hinchingbrooke remains one of the most effective and efficient acute hospitals in the country. Its accident and emergency department is consistently in the top 10 in the country, and Hinchingbrooke remains among the top 40 out of 130 acute trusts overall. Only last week the Healthcare Commission rated it "excellent" for diagnosis and medical management, two of its three key indicators. The hospital also expects to show well on the commission's third indicator (admissions management) when ratings are published next week. * Do you work at the hospital? Is this a good move for Hinchingbrooke? Has staff morale been boosted by the chief executive's decision to step down? What should happen now? Let us now your views by e-mailing email@example.com or call the newsroom on 01480 411481.