Amanda Pritchard - chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas' - has been appointed as NHS chief operating officer, making her the second most senior figure in the health service in England.
Pritchard will take up her new post at the end of July.
She said: "It is a huge privilege to be joining NHS England and NHS Improvement at this exciting time and to have the opportunity to influence the NHS agenda and help deliver the Long Term Plan. In doing so, I know that I will draw upon my experience leading Guy's and St Thomas' where our strong values and focus on the needs of our patients and staff is always at the heart of decision making."
Chair of Guy's and St Thomas' Sir Hugh Taylor said: "This is a great honour for Amanda and good news for the NHS. Amanda has played an active leadership role in the wider health system here in south east London, so understands the need for new ways of working that move beyond traditional organisational boundaries. While we will miss her talent, energy and vision, Amanda will be a great asset to the national team."
Pritchard joined Guy's and St Thomas' in 2012 and has led the foundation trust since Sir Ron Kerr's departure in October 2015.
For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.
7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?
Read the latest issue before signing up