A second member of the executive team at NHS Digital is to leave the organisation in the latest major change to the board ahead of the arrival of new chief executive Sarah Wilkinson.

Professor David Hughes, executive director of information and analytics, and the most senior data scientist at the NHS statistics and data agency, will leave the organisation to focus on mental health analysis.

Prof Hughes depart NHS Digital in August, the same month that fellow executive director Beverley Bryant has announced that she will quit to take up a senior role at supplier System C.

August is also the month that Sarah Wilkinson will move from chief technology officer at the Cabinet Office to become the new CEO of NHS Digital.

Counting the departure of chief executive Andy Williams, who retired at the end of March, three of the four executive members of the Board will have changed by August.

Prof Hughes David, who has worked in a broad range of academic, government, private and third sector roles during a distinguished 25-year career, authored NHS Digital’s Data Strategy, which is central to the technology and innovation aspect of the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Prof Hughes said in an NHS Digital statement: “I have truly enjoyed working alongside a group of extremely talented individuals, all of whom are totally committed to improving healthcare and making it more accessible through data and technology.

“My professional passion is the effective treatment of mental health and, specifically, the field of mental health information and analytics.  I am excited to now have the opportunity to pursue this passion through a number of opportunities that have been presented to me.”

Interim chief exec Rob Shaw said of Prof Hughes: “The power of data and information to transform care has never been more pertinent and David has contributed hugely, bringing both professional expertise and personal dedication to his role. Particular contributions include his professional leadership of our talented analysts and his committed development of the data strategy.

“I’ll be working with David and his team to ensure there is a smooth transition internally and we are speaking about how David can keep in touch with the organisation as he embarks on his new challenge.”