• NHS director who agreed “irregular” exit deal for Morecambe Bay midwife suspended from current role 
  • Mr Wilson has been suspended pending investigations into his actions
  • The deal allowed midwife to leave without facing investigation

An NHS director who agreed an “irregular” exit deal for a senior midwife at the centre of the Morecambe Bay care scandal has been suspended from his current role while an investigation takes place.

Roger Wilson, director of human resources and organisational development at Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust, is being investigated over his actions while he held the same post at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust in 2012.

The trust told HSJ on Monday that Mr Wilson’s suspension was a neutral act while investigations were carried out.

Last year it was revealed that Mr Wilson signed an exit deal for Jeannette Parkinson, then a maternity risk manager at UHMBT. This allowed her to leave the trust without an investigation into her performance following the avoidable deaths of at least 11 babies and one mother at Furness General Hospital.

The agreement meant she “appear[ed] to have been significantly overpaid (by as much as 14 months)” according to investigation findings at Morecambe Bay.

Sir David Henshaw, who was chair at UHMB at the time, has previously told HSJ he was unaware of the agreement.

Ms Parkinson, was criticised last year by the Kirkup inquiry, and is due to face a Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practice hearing over alleged misconduct at the Furness General Hospital maternity unit.

In a statement to HSJ last year Mr Wilson said he wanted to “strongly refute any allegation of impropriety on my part while employed at UHMB or at any other role that I have held in either public or private sectors”.

The investigation has been prompted by a review carried out by Morecambe Bay, which reported on the deal.

Warrington trust chief executive Mel Pickup has met with the Care Quality Commission in relation to Mr Wilson’s fitness as a board director.

A spokeswoman for Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust said: “Roger Wilson is currently suspended, as a neutral act, from his role as director of human resources and organisation development at Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust.

“As investigatory processes are still underway it is inappropriate for us to provide any further comment at this time.”