NHS England will pay the salary of its departing human resources director for up to two years after she leaves the organisation, HSJ has been told.

National director for human resources and organisational development Jo-Anne Wass is being seconded to Leeds University, where she will work as an organisational development consultant. However, she does not plan to return to her NHS England role.

HSJ reported her departure earlier this month.

Asked about the secondment arrangements, NHS England told HSJ on Tuesday it would pay Ms Wass’ salary for “up to two years”.

The indicative salary for her role at NHS England was £155,000, although NHS England has not confirmed her current salary.

Before moving to NHS England, which was then known as the NHS Commissioning Board, in 2012, Ms Wass was NHS chief of staff at the Department of Health, where she worked closely with Sir David Nicholson.

Sir David is due to retire as NHS England chief executive at the end of the month. He will be replaced by Simon Stevens, who was a health adviser to Tony Blair and currently works for UnitedHealth.

An NHS England spokeswoman said it had “agreed with Jo-Anne to pay her salary for up to two years while she is on secondment”.

The spokeswoman said: “There are real benefits to encouraging the links between local education and the healthcare sector. This is particularly true in Leeds where the NHS and the university are two of the city’s largest employers and it is crucial they have a strong relationship.”

She added: “Jo-Anne thinks it is right that NHS England has certainty in planning for the future. As a result Jo-Anne has made it clear that she has no intention of returning to her role.”

Announcing Ms Wass’ decision to leave, earlier this month, Sir David said her secondment would bring benefits to both the NHS and university.