Leeds primary care trust chief executive Christine Outram has been appointed managing director of Medical Education England, the new national workforce training and planning body.

Christine Outram is expected to take up the new role later this month under a special agreement between the primary care trust and MEE. The PCT’s current finance director Kevin Howells will take over her role on an acting basis.

Her resignation from Leeds was announced as the primary care trust’s director of commissioning Matt Walsh confirmed he had accepted the post of medical director at Calderdale PCT. Dr Walsh’s leaving date from Leeds PCT has yet to be determined.

Medical Education England was established following Sir John Tooke’s report into doctor recruitment in the aftermath of chaos surrounding junior doctor training posts in 2007. The role of the organisation was further fleshed out by health minister Ara Darzi’s next stage review, which said it should oversee the professional education and training of doctors, dentists and other specialists, as well as advise on strategic workforce planning and training issues.

Ms Outram has been chief executive of Leeds PCT since its creation in 2006. Before that she was director general of organisation review at the Department of Health where she led on the rationalisation of 38 of the department’s arm’s-length bodies.

She has previously been a strategic health authority chief executive in London where she took an interest in promoting racial equality.

NHS Leeds chair Linda Pollard said: “I am really pleased for Chris that she has been asked to lead this important work, and I would like to recognise her achievement in bringing five PCTs into one and moving the challenging PCT agenda forward over the last three years. She will be greatly missed. Chris has always had a strong interest in education and development and I feel sure she will add real value to this high profile national role.”