NHS England’s chief nursing officer has been appointed to lead its London regional team following the departure of current director Anne Rainsberry.

Jane Cummings will take on the role of interim regional director for London from 18 September until a permanent replacement is recruited.

Ms Cummings will retain her role as chief nursing officer and her place on the NHS England board.

HSJ reported last month that Ms Rainsberry had resigned from her role in April. However NHS England decided to wait until the summer to announce her departure ”so as to not be a distraction” during the budgetary planning process for the next two years.

Ms Cummings first became CNO in 2012 and recently took over responsibility as lead national director for maternity and workforce.

She said: “It is an exciting time for the NHS in London and I look forward to joining the excellent team Anne has developed. Together we will continue working to further improve the quality of care and patient experience for the people across London.”

Ms Rainsberry added: “I wish Jane every success – having such an experienced nurse and manager taking on the leadership of NHS London is a fine example of the vital role of nurses in leading healthcare across the capital and the NHS more widely. It is also significant that a board member of NHS England will be taking on this key role.”

NHS England and NHS Improvement are beginning to pilot having shared regional directors in the south west and south east regions, and several sources close to the situation said there was likely to be consideration about whether to extend the model to London at a later stage.

Steve Russell remains NHS Improvement’s executive regional managing director for London.