Former NHS Improvement chief executive Ian Dalton is now heading a government task force charged with automating public services.

The Cabinet Office announced on Friday that Mr Dalton would become the government automation taskforce’s executive chair, effective from today.

In a statement it said: ”Ian will develop and accelerate the government’s automation agenda, ensuring that central government is fully prepared for, and best able to take advantage of, opportunities to deliver better, more efficient, public services using automation technologies.”

Mr Dalton quit his job as NHSI chief executive in April, after less than two years in the job, as part of leadership changes associated with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s merger.

Prior to that, he spent four months as the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare Trust, following three years as president of global government and health for BT Global Services. He had previously been deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHS England), and before that managing director of provider development at the Department of Health.

In a statement Mr Dalton said using automation technology could be used to deliver service more effectively, including improving cancer diagnosis and reducing fraud. He said: “This can have a huge impact on people’s lives - and I want to be at the forefront of this ground-breaking technology.”

Cabinet Office permanent secretary John Manzoni said Mr Dalton had “supported the NHS to improve their performance, improving its financial performance and ensuring the NHS is more integrated”. 

He said: “Ian’s experience and skills will give an extra boost to this important piece of work, as we transform how we deliver public services.”