© iStock/georgeclerk
© iStock/georgeclerk

Will Smart will be stepping down from his role as CIO for Health and Social Care in England on 30 September 2019, bringing an end to his three-year spell in the role.

Smart joins a growing list of IT leaders who have recently left the NHS, which is going in a new digital direction under Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Read next: Why are so many CIOs leaving the NHS?

Hancock's biggest NHS initiative since his July 2018 appointment is the creation of NHSX, a new body to lead the digital transformation of public healthcare, whose CEO Matthew Gould announced Smart's departure.

"Today, I'd like personally to thank Will Smart, CIO for Health & Care who has announced he is leaving NHSX on 30 Sept," Gould tweeted. "It has been a real pleasure working with Will, whose expertise & wisdom will be missed. Along with many others I'm grateful for the huge amount he's contributed."

Read next: What is NHSX? Inside the government's new healthtech unit

Smart confirmed the news in a reply to Gould, offering his support for NHSX. 

"After 3 years, now feels the right time to move on," he said. "We've proven that the NHS can do tech & through the #NHSLongTermPlan, we'll drive forward digital transformation for the benefit of patients I wholeheartedly support NHSX & wish Matthew Gould & all my colleagues every success."

Smart was appointed NHS CIO in August 2016, after six years as CIO of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, where he was responsible for the strategic management and delivery of informatics service at the teaching hospital.

His CV also includes a spell as Director of Information Management and Technology at Barnet and Chase Fame NHS Hospital and stints in public sector consulting at Metaskil, Hedra, Marconi Software Solutions and Service Dynamics Limited. 

The NHS is yet to announce his replacement, or indeed if the organisation will continue to have a single CIO for Health and Social Care.