Tim Smart, Interim Chair of Southern Health, said: "After serious consideration and having taken advice from NHS Improvement (NHSI) and the Trust's solicitors, I have taken the difficult decision to postpone the Extraordinary Council of Governors meeting scheduled to take place on Tuesday 17 May.
"It has been brought to my attention that the resolutions put forward by Governors for discussion at the meeting do not comply with NHSI guidance, and any vote would not be legally robust.
"While I understand there is considerable public interest in these resolutions, the potential of not following the correct process is that any decision made by the Council of Governors next week could have become subject to significant challenge, including judicial review.
"In order to avoid this, the Trust has offered to provide independent legal support to the Governors, in order that their resolutions can be given full consideration at a future public meeting, having been submitted using the correct legal process."
“This is far from ideal but having been appointed to bring change to Southern Health and to lead in developing a proper way forward following all the considerable problems at the Trust, I am determined that we do everything correctly, whatever the short term difficulties along the way.”