Scandal-hit University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay’s plans to move its chief nurse to another foundation trust were thrown into confusion today when the would-be recipient said it had not agreed to the move.

Morecambe Bay last week announced in a statement that Jackie Holt would be going to Warrington and Halton Hospitals on a 12-month secondment to work on a project around workforce skills and future ways of working. It added that Morecambe Bay would continue to pay her full salary over this period, at the end of which she would cease to be employed by the trust.

However, Warrington and Halton today said that although they were approached about the possibility of providing a secondment they had decided against it.

A spokesman said: “We did agree to consider a possible project opportunity, but in doing so, no conclusions were reached and no formal agreement was made. After consideration it has not been possible to provide that particular opportunity at the present time so Ms Holt will not be working with the trust.”

Ms Holt, who has worked as a nurse in the NHS since 1982, has been in post for five years.

There have been numerous changes to Morecambe Bay’s leadership over the past two years, following the emergence of major care failures at the trust.

Morecambe Bay chief executive Jackie Daniel – who was appointed last summer – said this morning the intention was to secure a secondment for Ms Holt.

She said: “The new Trust Board has started the process of recruiting a replacement Chief Nurse and believes that this is the right time for a change in leadership. I want to be clear, this position will not change.”

A spokesman for the trust confirmed to HSJ that Ms Holt was leaving under a compromise agreement.

In a statement Trust chair John Cowdall said there were no “‘gagging’ or confidentiality clauses” in the compromise agreement which would prevent Ms Holt talking about the trust.

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