Mr Dalton, also deputy chief executive of the NHSCB, will be leaving the NHS to work as president of global health at BT Global Services.
The move follows a series of high-profile private sector moves by NHS managers in recent years. Jim Easton took up his post as Care UK managing director earlier this year after quitting his role as NHSCB national director of transformation and DH national director of efficiency.
Commenting on the latest departure, NHSCB chief executive Sir David Nicholson said: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian for his significant contribution and dedication to the NHS over many years. Ian has worked incredibly hard to drive forward better health outcomes for patients. Ian will be missed and I wish Ian all the best in his new role at BT.’
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Mr Dalton, former chief executive of NHS North of England and a former chief executive of two hospital trusts, also worked on restructuring health services in Iraq.
He said: ‘I am excited by my new role with BT, which will allow me to utilise my experience to work with health systems across the world. However, it has been a huge privilege to have contributed to the NHS in so many key roles over the years and to have worked with so many caring and dedicated NHS staff.
‘I have been impressed by the NHSCB’s passionate focus on the interests of patients and I am confident it will deliver real improvements for the future. For the next period, my focus will be on delivering what I am sure will be a successful transition for the operations directorate of the NHSCB.’
Other senior managers to quit the NHS in recent years include former DH head of commissioning Gary Belfield, who moved to consultancy firm KPMG in 2010. The year before, Mark Britnell left his post as DH director general for commissioning to work for KPMG, where he is now the chairman of global healthcare practice.