A HEALTH trust in East Lancashire is embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with a former chief executive who left after just 13 months at the helm.

Karen Wilson is taking to the health body to an employment tribunal over allegations of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.


She joined the Whalley-based Calderstones NHS Partnership Foundation Trust in April 2011 having served as a nursing director at both the Mersey Care and Lancashire Care health trusts.

She arrived at a crucial time with two cases hanging over the learning disabilities specialist from before her arrival.

In one, two high-profile patients absconded.

In the other, two male patients were caught having sex with a female service user.

But by February 27 the following year she had stood down, through “ill-health” according to the trust’s annual report of 2011-12.

She finally left Calderstones employment on May 16 of that year, having been replaced temporarily by then-finance and information director David Young. He took on the role full-time following her departure and holds the post to this day.

Ms Young has also lodged the same claims, at a Manchester tribunal, against then-Calderstones chairman John Berry.

Mr Berry, who has held senior commercial and director positions with BAE Systems, stood down as chairman in May 2013 and was replaced by Rupert Nichols.

The tribunal claims were due to be heard yesterday but a member of the three-strong panel was sick and Employment Judge Stuart Robertson adjourned the case until January 8 next year for the hearing to resume.

Ms Wilson is from Liverpool and first qualified as a nurse in 1983, and as a mental health nurse five years later.

She is now executive director of nursing and quality at North Staffordshire Combined NHS Trust, which covers Stoke-on-Trent.