A senior director at an acute trust in the North West would have been dismissed for gross misconduct had she not resigned earlier this year.

Sharon Partington, former director of human resources at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust, was “excluded” from work in August 2015, pending an investigation into allegations made by whistleblowers.

The trust said in a statement today: “Following Ms Partington’s disciplinary hearing, it was determined that the former director of human resources would have been dismissed as a consequence of gross misconduct had she remained in employment. Ms Partington has the right of appeal against the decision.

“The decision follows the outcome of a disciplinary hearing which reviewed eight allegations of misconduct. The disciplinary panel found evidence on six counts of misconduct, one of which amounted to gross misconduct.”

Former chief executive Jonathan Parry, who was excluded from work at the same time as Ms Partington, was dismissed for gross misconduct last month. He has signalled his intention to appeal.

The trust has never explained the nature of the allegations, other than saying they are unrelated to patient safety.

The trust’s now retired former chief operating officer, Sheilah Finnegan, who was also excluded last year, has been cleared.

The statement added: “The independent disciplinary panel considered three allegations of misconduct against Ms Finnegan and determined that the allegations were not proven.

“The disciplinary panel recommended that had Ms Finnegan remained in employment no disciplinary sanction would have been imposed on her.

“The disciplinary panel hearing the allegations against Ms Finnegan did note that the case involved serious matters arising from whistleblowing complaints. The panel noted that the trust ‘had no option but to instigate a thorough investigation’ under the relevant policy and then to refer the outcome of the investigation to a disciplinary hearing.”