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Long-serving national director leaves for Microsoft

Published on: 19 Jan 2022

An NHS data chief has left his position after nine years of working for the national NHS.

Geraint Lewis, who was the chief data officer at NHSX, left the organisation last week to become director of population health at Microsoft.

His departure comes as NHSX staff await further details of how their jobs will be affected by the organisation’s merger with NHS England.

Dr Lewis previously worked as chief data officer for NHS England since 2013 before the position was moved to NHSX when the unit was established in 2019.

Last year HSJ revealed he had been replaced as senior responsible officer for an overhaul of the cancer screening IT programme by NHSX deputy chief executive Simon Eccles. The programme has been delayed indefinitely

NHSX said at the time this change was made to “reflect” the importance of the programme.

In an internal NHSX message announcing Dr Lewis’ departure, seen by HSJ, Dr Eccles said Dr Lewis would be “much missed”.

Dr Eccles added that the transition arrangements for NHSX’s clinical portfolio to move into NHSE’s transformation team would be completed by the end of January.

He also announced that NHSX has appointed Cabinet Office official Mark Sayers as its new director of digital primary care.

Meanwhile, over in NHS England, David Webb will replace Keith Ridge as chief pharmaceutical officer for NHS England and Ursula Montgomery, a GP who is currently interim GP transformation director, has been appointed interim national director for primary care. Ed Waller, currently director of primary care, is moving to become deputy chief financial officer for strategic finance.