The chief executive of NHS Norfolk has announced she is to step down in order to take up a post in the Channel Islands.

After three years at the primary care trust, Julie Garbutt is leaving to take on the role of chief executive officer for health and social care for the States of Jersey.

Ms Garbutt is expected to start her new role in the summer. NHS Norfolk is currently finalising the arrangements for appointing an interim successor.

Ms Garbutt said: “This is not a decision that I have taken lightly, as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with NHS Norfolk and it has been both a pleasure and privilege to work with such a talented and committed group of staff.

“However, when I was approached with a view to applying for this role it quickly became apparent that this would be a once-in-a-career opportunity to work in a health and social care system that has immense potential to integrate across all sectors and all care pathways and with a scale that could facilitate swift change.”

NHS Norfolk chair Sheila Childerhouse paid tribute to Ms Garbutt’s leadership during challenging times at the PCT.

She said: “Julie’s leadership has been outstanding, enabling the organisation to recover from its financial deficit and bring five former PCTs in Norfolk into one. Her quality as a leader is recognised both regionally and nationally.”