Rose Gibb has won the right to a full appeal hearing on her claim for compensation against her former employer, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust.

Ms Gibb, who left her job as chief executive days before a critical Healthcare Commission report into a C difficile outbreak at the trust, has been given permission to appeal on all grounds by the Court of Appeal.

At the original hearing, the High Court ruled against her claim that she was entitled to a £175,000 payment that had been agreed before she left. The judge also refused her leave to appeal - but she won the right to an appeal hearing on some grounds over the summer, and the Court of Appeal has now extended these, enabling her to appeal on all grounds. 

The High Court judge had ruled that the trust had acted outside its powers because the proposed severance payment was “irrationally generous”.

Jon Restell, chief executive of Ms Gibb’s union Managers in Partnership, said: “This case should never have come to court. Rose Gibb wanted to stay and face the music.”

Ms Gibb left the trust in October 2007. Her appeal is not expected to be heard until March 2010 - two and a half years later.

A Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the decision and will not be alone in that view today. Our new management team accepted the failings of the trust’s previous leadership long ago and put things right. Both the trust and relatives should be allowed to move on.”