The medical director and former co-chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare Trust has been relieved of his duties while an independent investigation is carried out, the trust confirmed today.

Imperial refused to reveal what prompted the investigation of Nick Cheshire, or what it would examine.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “The Trust can confirm an independent investigation of its medical director Professor Nick Cheshire is taking place. During this time he will not be undertaking his normal duties at the Trust. As is usual in these circumstances, all other details of the investigation are currently confidential.”

Professor Cheshire occupied the co-chief post until April, when the trust collapsed its unusual management structure.

Under this arrangement, he had shared responsibility for leading the trust with two other board members: the trust’s finance director Bill Shields and board chair Sir Richard Sykes.

This triumvirate arrangement – which had been in place since the end of 2013 - came to an end when Tracy Batten took the helm at the beginning of April.