Five directors making up the senior management team at Health Education England have been named today.

The new education quango will be responsible for delivering a £5.5bn training budget for all healthcare professions and overseeing workforce planning for the health service.

Nicki Latham, former chief operating officer for information systems at the National Institute for Health Research, has been appointed as chief operating officer. She is currently leading the authorisation and development of local education and training boards for HEE.

Steve Clarke, director of finance at NHS Midlands and East, will take on the same role at HEE.

Jo Lenaghan, the former chief advisor to NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson and current director of policy for the National Quality Team, will become director of strategy and planning.

Lee Whitehead, director of communications and engagement for NHS Midlands and East strategic health authority cluster, will be the director of people and communications for HEE.

Midlands and East medical director Chris Welsh has been named as director of education and quality. He was previously medical director at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber and spent 13 years as a consultant vascular surgeon.

The appointments complete the first stage of recruitment for Health Education England. The next phase will see the appointment of director of nursing and a medical director who will advise the HEE board and senior management team on quality issues.

Ian Cumming, chief executive of HEE, said: “The appointments should put us in a position to quickly start building a robust and valued education and training system that will develop and motivate our workforce and ensure the best outcomes for patients.”

HEE chair Sir Keith Pearson added: “The individuals we have appointed bring a wealth of experience and expertise from a wide range of backgrounds. They all have a track record of success and I’m confident they will make a strong and immediate impact in their new roles.”