The national chief clinical information officer at NHS England and Improvement is to step down after four years in the role.

In an NHS England staff email, seen by Digital Health, Doctor Simon Eccles said he would be returning to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

He added: “After extending my secondment from Tommy’s in order to help with the transition from NHSX to the Transformation directorate, my secondment has now come to an end.”  

Eccles also states in the email that he first got involved in the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) 17 years ago when the aim was to put EPRs into every hospital. 

“That aim still resonates, with the learning from the Wachter review to guide us,” Eccles said. 

Eccles was the second national CCIO appointed, following the appointment of Dr Keith McNeil, who held the role for 13 months. As national CCIO, Eccles has been a regular speaker and participant at Digital Health’s Summer Schools event and the CCIO Network, being particularly active throughout the pandemic. 

In the email announcing his departure, Eccles said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with you as we led digitisation across health and care, developed the clinical informatics profession, established our pandemic clinical care processes, delivered digital primary care, expanded our digital channels, and described the transformation approach for digital child health, maternity care and national screening.” 

Digital Health News has contacted NHS England and Improvement for a comment.