The NHS National Programme for IT has lost its second CIO this year. Matthew Swindells, who replaced Richard Granger earlier this year, is leaving to join Tribal Group, which provides consulting to the public sector.

Swindells took up the role after Richard Granger left the Connecting for Health programme in January following a highly publicised resignation last year. In a statement the Department of Health said: "Matthew Swindells will shortly leave the department at the end of his secondment from the NHS to take up an external appointment. This has been approved under the rules that govern the acceptance of outside appointments by civil servants, subject to certain conditions. In the meantime, the department is recruiting a Chief Information Officer (CIO), at Director General level, who will lead the development and delivery of the overall information strategy for the health and social care system."

Swindells and Gordon Hextall took over the Connecting fro Health programme on January 31, 2008.

Earlier this month Richard Jeavons also stood down as the Connecting for Health director of IT service implementation.

At Tribal Swindells will be the MD of its health division, which provides a range of services to healthcare providers, including consulting on technology; use of building space; human resources and public relations. A spokesperson for Tribal said it is a new role for the company and that he will be responsible for increasing its presence in the healthcare sector. “Matthew has had a successful career, he took the Royal Surrey County Hospital from a zero star rating to two star,” she said. Tribal hope Swindells will be in place by the summer and push the company into new directions and introduce them to new clients.

In his career Swindells has been head of IT for Guy’s and St Thomas foundation trusts, as well as chief executive of the Royal Surrey before he switched to the Connecting for Health programme.

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