The clinical governance support team has defended its appointment of a nursing director who was strongly criticised for poor support, guidance and supervision of staff while at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals trust.

Tricia Hart, who was nursing director of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, has started a one-year secondment working with the CGST's board development team, which helps trust boards to improve their clinical governance arrangements, despite being heavily criticised by an NHS Executive report into the Radcliffe's's cardiac services.

Although a spokesperson for the CGST said the appointment had been made because of Ms Hart's experience, HSJ sources say the move was at odds with the strong criticism.

They say the decision to move Ms Hart away from the trust was pushed by newly appointed South East regional director Ruth Carnall. Although the secondment is for one year, the trust would not confirm what would happen at the end of that period.

Two others criticised in the report, human resources director Mike Fleming and acting medical director James Morris, remain in post.

The CGST would not comment on the criticisms made of Ms Hart, and the trust would not comment on the timing of the move.

The trust faces continuing problems. The Royal College of Nursing is involved in discussions with it about conditions in its accident and emergency department, following the union's decision to approve a ballot of nurses working there, over concerns about patient safety and care.

A whistleblowing case is also due to be brought against the trust by Colette O'Keefe, the service delivery manager who highlighted the problems in the cardiac unit.