NHS England’s chief technology officer Alex Abbott is leaving the organisation, the latest of a series of senior departures, HSJ has learned.

Mr Abbott, who was part of NHS England’s patients and information directorate, is leaving this week. He is taking up a position in the private sector which is yet to be announced.

An NHS England spokeswoman confirmed Mr Abbott’s departure to HSJ.

She said: “Alex has been considering a move back to the private sector for some time and wants to move closer to the front line delivery of technology to the NHS.

“We would like to thank Alex for all of his hard work on behalf of NHS England and wish him every success in the future.”

Mr Abbott has reported to director of strategic systems and technology Beverley Bryant, who reports to national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey.

Mr Abbott joined NHS England from NHS Connecting for Health, the government body which oversaw the NHS’s computer systems until 2013 and ran the £13bn National Programme for IT. He had been there since 2005.

Other recent departures include policy director Bill McCarthy who is becoming deputy vice chancellor of Bradford University, and Jo-Anne Wass who is becoming an organisational development consultant at Leeds University.

Meanwhile, the incoming NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, who starts work on 1 April, has appointed Karen Wheeler as NHS England’s director for transformation and corporate operations. She will oversee functions including IT, human resources, and internal operations.