Director of People

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Exeter and Barnstaple

  • Location

    Exeter and Barnstaple

  • Job type


  • Sector


  • Salary/Remuneration


  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    26 February 2019

  • Client

    Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Ref: GSe49821

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a new role as Director of People to work across two of Devon’s NHS Trusts - The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. The two organisations have recently forged a new partnership to deliver high quality, safe care to over 750,000 people in Devon.

To further develop the partnership and to jointly tackle the big workforce challenges faced by the NHS in the county, we are looking for an outstanding candidate who has the passion and drive coupled with strategic expertise and experience to deliver a joined-up people strategy spanning both organisations. As a member of two Boards and two executive teams, you will be instrumental in ensuring that our amazing people deliver high quality care and support our citizens’ independence, health and wellbeing today but also crucially that they support developing services in a way that is fit for the future.  We have exciting plans for the next 5 years that give a really clear view of where we want to take the organisation and we would like you to be part of the team that makes this happen.  

Both organisations benefit from having a workforce that is motivated and engaged and works hard to consistently improve services in a way that benefits the communities we serve. In addition, our people are increasingly adept at changing what they do and how they do it to take into account the way in which health and care are changing. We fully recognise that the key to making the bold changes we need to make in both organisations, as we rapidly evolve the model of care, is our people and that is why we need someone who understands what needs to change and how to lead that change in a way that brings our people along the journey.

We are dependent on the highest level of skills, compassion and expertise from our team in order to effectively deliver our part of the healthcare system performance in Devon.  As both Trusts are key members of the Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), the successful candidate will also be required to make significant contributions to the development of a pan-Devon workforce strategy to ensure we have the right people with the right skills to deliver the care which we aspire to, as a system.  

We are therefore looking for a truly exceptional candidate that has the expertise and resilience to take on a senior leadership role but, even more importantly; who is as passionate as we are about supporting and developing our people. If you can lead through times of uncertainty and have a track record of managing organisations with demanding and complex agendas; if you can bring real expertise and a willingness to think differently about the challenges we face; and if you have experience of strategic oversight of the implementation and delivery of HR systems, then whatever your background - whether in the NHS or not - this role could be for you. If you are a strategic thinker and have an aptitude for working in partnership and you can inspire confidence among staff and our wider stakeholders, then we would be very keen to hear from you.

As well as taking on a rewarding and challenging role, you will also live in one of England’s most amazing places. With breathtaking countryside, clean beaches and vibrant cities, it isn’t difficult to understand why Devon is frequently rated as one of the top places to live and work in the UK. Anybody looking for the ideal place to settle and perhaps raise a family will undoubtedly be persuaded by Devon’s two stunning coastlines, two National Parks,  UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and England’s first natural World Heritage Site – the Jurassic Coast.


Devon has good education opportunities from pre- school right through to the world-class Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. What better start to give your child than living in an area where 85% of schools are rated ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ by Ofsted compared to 78% nationally?

In both Exeter and Barnstaple there is an abundance of family and social amenities to enjoy and our community sites are located in bustling and distinctive market towns with a range of benefits of their own. This all adds up to ensuring a great working environment across both Trusts. 


Closing dateMonday 25th Feb
Long listing28th Feb
Preliminary interviews7th/8th/11th Mar
Short listing15th March
Final panel1st & 2nd April
How to Apply

To apply for this role, please submit an up to date copy of your CV, along with a Supporting Statement that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements. Please provide your home, work, mobile and email contact details and let us know of any dates when you are not available or where you may have difficulty with the indicative timetable. You should also provide the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. If you do not wish us to approach your referees without your prior permission, please state this clearly.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson.

Contact details
Serena Dobson: 07530 627120

Melanie Shearer: 07785 616 548