Mar 052021
Department of Health & Social Care – Chair

Chair - Department of Health & Social Care

Recruiter: Department of Health & Social Care
Location: Nationwide
Salary: Not Specified
Posted: 03 Mar 2021
Closes: 09 Mar 2021
Job Function: Chair

National Institute for Health Protection

To give the nation the best chance of beating COVID-19, and continue to monitor, identify and be ready to respond to other health threats, now and in the future, in August 2020 the government announced the intention to create a brand-new organisation to rigorously extend our existing science-led approach to public health protection – the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP).

The NIHP will bring together the existing health protection responsibilities discharged by Public Health England (PHE) with the new capabilities of NHS Test and Trace, including the Joint Biosecurity Centre, creating a single agency with a razor-sharp focus on COVID-19 and the challenges posed by domestic and global threats to health, now and in the future. This builds on the existing close working between PHE and NHS Test and Trace which includes a series of joint appointments and joint teams.

The Role

We expect the NIHP will be formally constituted as an Executive Agency of the Department for Health and Social Care in April 2021.

The Chief Executive and senior leadership team are being identified, and the DHSC will appoint an Advisory Board, led by a Chair. The Chair is appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The NIHP Advisory Board will provide strategic advice on the establishment and running of NIHP, assuring the effectiveness of NIHP’s corporate governance arrangements and advising the CEO on:

  • the development of NIHP’s strategic plan, including setting the vision, scope and role of NIHP and how it will contribute to the country’s overall public health strategy, together with the immediate public health plan to combat COVID
  • the transition and integration plan that will create this new national institution, create a diverse and inclusive culture that combines the best of the country’s scientific and public health expertise with scale operations, logistics and technology capabilities
  • setting and delivering the operational and financial performance of what is currently one of the country’s largest public services
  • ensuring that this new institute maintains independence and commands the confidence of the professional and scientific community and of the general public at a time of crisis

The Chair will support, and challenge the Chief Executive and work closely with key strategic stakeholders. They will ensure that the Board functions well, work with the leadership team to achieve agreed objectives and act as an ambassador and where required as a public face of the organisation, in partnership with the Chief Executive.

The role includes:

  • Chairing the NIHP Board, and relevant committees, advising and supporting the CEO to deliver on the NIHP’s plan and objectives
  • Building a constructive relationship with the Chief Executive,
  • Representing the organisation with key stakeholders, including Ministers and participant and other user groups.
  • Providing strategic oversight and scrutiny of organisational performance.

Candidates for this important and visible role are likely to be experienced chairs and/or board members, accustomed to managing complexity and to dealing with external stakeholders at an appropriately senior level. A track record of leading large organisations through transformational change is essential. Whilst useful, knowledge of stakeholders including Whitehall, Westminster and the NHS, is not essential. This is a role for a Chair who thrives on leading transformational change, who is willing to operate under intense public scrutiny and take on one of the most important issues of our time.

The closing date for applications is midnight, Tuesday 9th March 2021.

The Department of Health and Social Care has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to advise on this appointment. For further information about the position and the terms and conditions of service, including how to apply, please visit:

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