THE Health Secretary refused to say whether he has confidence in the services provided by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

In an interview on Radio 4's Today programme yesterday, Jeremy Hunt MP was quizzed on whether it was right for outgoing chief executive Katrina Percy to walk straight into another role in the organisation for the same £190,000 salary.

Ms Percy resigned unexpectedly earlier this week, citing media attention as the key driver behind the decision.

Pressed on what he thought of this week's revelations, Mr Hunt told presenter John Humphrys managers in the NHS had "the most difficult job you can imagine", but did not criticise her salary level.

He added: "We need to recognise that if someone is not doing a good job they need to move on."

When asked if he had faith in Southern Health he declined to comment, but said: "I think Southern Health are trying very hard to address issues. I have confidence that they are making progress."

In a move described by Oxford East MP Andrew Smith as a "scandal" she has been handed a consultancy post advising GPs on transforming services , for the same money.

In the past year Southern Health has come under fire from campaigners, MPs, NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission for failing to address patient safety and leadership concerns. Last December it was revealed 722 people had died unexpectedly at the trust over a four-year period.