NHS Employers has appointed Danny Mortimer as its new chief executive, replacing Dean Royles who left earlier this month.

He joins NHS Employers from his current role as director of workforce and strategy at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, where he has worked since 2007.

Mr Mortimer has worked in the health service for over 20 years, including time as a porter and a healthcare assistant before joining management.

He will take up his new post later this year.

NHS Confederation chief executive Rob Webster said Mr Mortimer was “an outstanding candidate”.

“His many years’ frontline experience in health service human resources is matched by his proficiency in tackling the key priority workforce issues currently facing the service.”

He added that as an existing member of the NHS Employers policy board Mr Mortimer would be “uniquely placed to bring fresh ideas and energy, while maintaining continuity and momentum”.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Mortimer said: “I’ve always been impressed by the talent and commitment of the NHS Employers team, so I am truly delighted to join them as chief executive, and look forward to continuing to deliver on the ambitious agenda that is essential to progress for the health service, the people it employs, and those it serves.”

He will be taking over NHS Employers at a crucial time for the organisation.

Relations between government, employers and trade unions have become particularly strained since the government’s decision to reject a 1 per cent pay rise for all NHS staff.

Unions are currently balloting their members on whether to take strike action in September and October in protest against the decision.