Matthew Swindells, who has been leading a review of NHS informatics, including the £12.4bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT), has resigned and is to leave the Department of Health "shortly". He has played a key role in leading NHS IT since the departure of Richard Granger in January 2008.
News of his departure comes only weeks after Computer Weekly revealed that Richard Jeavons is leaving the NPfIT, where he is senior responsible owner for service implementation.
Their resignations are a blow to the credibility of the NHS National Programme for IT, which is now left without strong independent voices. Some will see the departures as indicating that the programme is now in trouble.
Swindells is moving to private sector consultancy Tribal.
Matthew Swindells' review of NHS IT, which has yet to be published, is likely to include some criticisms of the NPfIT as it stands.
As interim NHS CIO, Swindells was due to be the opening speaker at HC2008, the annual healthcare computing conference at Harrogate, where he was expected to talk on the strategic role of information in the future of the NHS.
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