The woman leading public health’s transition from the health service to local government is quitting the English NHS after securing a major new job in Wales.

Ruth Hussey is to become chief medical officer for Wales, it was announced today.

Dr Hussey, who was born and grew up in Wales, will replace current CMO Tony Jewell when he retires later this year.

She has been regional director of public health for NHS North West since 2006 and is currently seconded to the Public Health England Transition Team at the Department of Health.

Previous roles include director of health strategy and medical director at Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority, and acting director of public health and medical director at Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority.

She was also director of public health for Liverpool and a senior lecturer in public health at Liverpool University.

Dr Hussey said she was “honoured” to get the job and looked forward to returning to Wales.

“I am delighted we have found someone of Dr Hussey’s calibre to provide clinical advice to the Welsh government on a range of health and healthcare matters,” said Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths.