A major London acute trust has appointed a new chief digital information officer.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has announced that Steve Townsend is its new chief digital information officer.

He has previously worked for Transport for London, Carphone Warehouse and the British Army.

Townsend said in a statement that he was excited to work in the NHS for the first time.

“The NHS is close to my heart and it will be a privilege to repay a debt of gratitude – I have nothing but admiration for the clinicians and staff working in this incredible institution, especially those who provided life-saving treatment to my son.”

Amanda Pritchard, chief executive at the trust, said Townsend was joining the team to “refresh and update our digital strategy, and begin in earnest the critical process of selecting a new electronic health record”.

Townsend will be a non-voting member of the board.

Pritchard paid tribute to Townsend’s predecessor, Scott Sommerville, who led the trust’s IT and telecoms team for the past eight years.

“Through this appointment we will ensure that Guy’s and St Thomas’ is able to benefit from the transformational changes that new technology and the current revolution in informatics can bring”, she said.

A trust spokesman said Townsend’s role “will include some different responsibilities” to those Sommerville held, such as duties around information governance.

Digital Health News has previously reported on the trust’s digital efforts, with its plans to invest £213 million in IT from 2012 to 2017.

In July last year, Gary McAllister, the trust’s chief technology officer, said that introducing the new digital booking system, DrDoctor, would save the equivalent of £3.4 million a year.

In April 2015, the London trust launched the Kids Sleep Dr app to track the sleep pattern of children with sleeping problems.