One of the key figures behind national tech platforms rolled out by the NHS in Scotland in response to Covid is to step down from his role.

Deryck Mitchelson is to quit as digital director at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) in the new year, to return to industry.

The director of national digital and chief information security officer – who was appointed in August 2018 – will leave the health service at the end of January for a new position in the private sector.

Mitchelson has led the NHS’ tech response to Covid-19, spearheading the delivery of several high-profile projects, including the Protect Scotland contact tracing app, the QR-code based ‘check in’ app, and most recently the Covid passport app.

He will be replaced by Carolyn Low, NSS’ director of finance, on an interim basis while a recruitment process is carried out.

Before joining NSS, Mitchelson was chief information security officer at global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. Previously, he was head of IT at the Scottish Prison Service.

A spokesperson for NHS National Services Scotland said: “Deryck Mitchelson will be leaving his role as NHS National Services Scotland’s Digital Director to assume a new role in the private sector. We will be recruiting for Deryck’s replacement early in the new year, and expect the process to be completed by the end of March.

“In the interim, our highly skilled technical teams will be led by NSS’s Director of Finance. Our digital experts remain focused on our COVID-19 response and other essential services supporting Scotland’s health and social care; we do not anticipate any adverse impact on services.

“We thank Deryck for his huge efforts at NSS and for the many achievements he has led, and wish him the very best in his new role and for the future.”