Tim Kelsey will step down as NHS England's national director for patients and information in December to take on a new job in Australia.

Kelsey has been with NHS England since 2012 and was appointed chair of the National Information Board last year, which is leading on the drive towards a 'paperless NHS' by 2020.

His new role is commercial director at Telstra Health, the healthcare arm of Australia-based telecommunications company Telstra.

Telstra Health bought Kelsey’s former company Dr Foster earlier this year.

According to NHS England, he will “lead development of new digital and mobile solutions for patients, professionals and citizens around the world.”

Kelsey said it has been “an enormous privilege” to work with his colleagues at NHS England.

“Together we have made the case for a digitally-enabled NHS in which patients are encouraged to participate. Over the last three years we have made significant progress on turning that aspiration into reality.”

He added: “The decision to leave has been one of the hardest I’ve made but I’m going to fulfil an ambition that will come as no surprise to those who know me well – to develop next generation digital services for patients and professionals that I hope will help all of us take more control of our health and care.”

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, worked closely with Kelsey on delivering the objectives of the Five Year Forward View to transform the NHS and the Personalised Health and Care 2020 framework to improve the way it uses technology.

He said: “It’s no surprise that other countries now want to emulate that success, so as the NHS moves into the implementation phase of the strategy Tim has helped craft, we wish him every success as he shifts gear to working in Australia and internationally.”

Kelsey co-founded Dr Foster, which generates comparative data on NHS Services, which was sold earlier this year to Telstra Health.

He left Dr Foster to join the consultancy McKinsey, from where he became the government’s first director of transparency and open government. He took up his present post at NHS England in May 2012.

In his NHS post, he was instrumental in re-launching the NHS Choices website in 2013 with more information for patients, particularly about the performance of hospitals and individual medical teams, and has pushed for patients to be given access to their records.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that Kelsey has: "given inspirational leadership & made NHS world leader on digital health".

Read more about Kelsey's legacy and reaction to his departure in Features.