The former boss of Solihull Hospital launched a withering attack on a heath watchdog as he quit his job.
Dr Mark Newbold implied he had been undermined by Monitor as he stepped down as chief executive of the NHS trust which runs the site.
The health regulator had earlier slammed a “clear failure in leadership” at Heart of England Foundation Trust amid a crisis in patient waiting times and overcrowding.
In a blog, Dr Newbold said: “Monitor issues a press release to accompany new enforcement actions. It was hard hitting – words can be so powerful and seeing it in black and white was very stark.
“Such language is undermining to leaders, and I wondered if this was the intention.
“I do not question the action taken, but by utilising a critical style of communication, which implies the leadership might only do the right thing if forced to do so, we risk framing the inability to achieve targets as a behavioural issue.”
Dr Newbold also spoke of his “regret” at failing to overcome overcrowding problems at the Trust’s hospitals – Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope.
He said: “Overcrowding is the singular problem that HEFT has, and I regret that I have not managed to solve this on a sustained basis.
“A chief executive has to know when the time is right to pass the baton on, and I believe that time is now.
“The teams and the staff in HEFT are excellent and committed, and I have no doubt that they will come
“I feel it is time for me to step down. I will no doubt reflect on events more deeply in the future.
“I have very much enjoyed my time at Heart of England. I have been totally committed to the role for over four years now, and I am proud that we have brought about many changes.
“I am particularly pleased with the progress we have made on openness and a transparent way of operating.”
A Monitor spokesman said: “There are a range of regulatory tools at our disposal to make sure that services work in the best interests of patients.
“We only take the most robust action available to us after careful consideration and when there are significant and long-standing problems in performance and leadership.
“We work hard to support leaders around the NHS as they try to make improvements on behalf of their patients. However, we will take action when these improvements are not made quickly enough.”