Director of Communications

NHS Digital

London and/or Leeds

  • Location

    London and/or Leeds

  • Job type


  • Sector


  • Salary/Remuneration

    £100,000 - £113,625 plus package

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    03 July 2019

  • Client

    NHS Digital

Ref: GSe53834

About NHS Digital

Today, NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner for the NHS health and care system. We design and deliver the digital infrastructure, data and standards upon which our health and care system, patients, clinicians and colleagues depend. Tomorrow will see NHS Digital positioned as the invaluable hub through which our broad communities access state of the art technical applications, platforms, services, products and capabilities, to transform the provision and quality of health and care in England.

To deliver our future ambitions, we are transforming the ways in which we engage with our diverse range of stakeholders and communicate our vision. Externally, this will require new relationships and approaches to partnering with the NHS technology community and industry to enable exemplary, collaborative, user centred design and development of innovative new products and services. Internally, this will involve the creation of a new Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) capability, harnessing People, Process and Tech to provide a platform for success for all those who care passionately about the NHS and the provision of 21st century care. 

The Role

A career defining role, our new Director of Communications will be a pivotal member of our executive team, reporting directly to our Chief Executive – Sarah Wilkinson, accountable for strategic leadership for all external and internal communications for NHS Digital. Leading a sizeable department of creative professionals, our Director of Communications will design and deliver sophisticated, compelling, multi-channel communication strategies, systems and services to support delivery of rich, accessible and inspiring content across a collaborative web interface, positioning NHS Digital as the hub for thought provoking digital discourse and technology innovation across the NHS. 

Ultimately, our success and impact will rest upon effective collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholder groups, including patients, the public, staff, national partners, industry bodies, the media and regulatory organisations, to promote our ambitious agenda and strategic purpose. This role offers a unique opportunity to transform our technical content and channel capability, whilst further strengthening our media and events capability, with the goal of making NHS Digital’s communications capabilities world-class, and on a par with leading digital organisations across sectors. 

Our communications agenda is broad and complex. Our critical role of communicating details of the NHS’s digital, data and technology agenda and systems environment to this broad and diverse audience requires multiple impeccably-designed digital channels, use of a diverse range of media formats, and competent editorial of often complex technical content, supported by smart, creative events and campaigns.

Finding innovative ways to engage with our committed workforce, will also be key to success as will honing our media relations and events, giving NHS Digital a platform and voice, whilst also being keen to listen.  

The Person

To succeed in this hugely rewarding, unique, communications leadership role, you will share our passion for the ethos of exemplary public service and the NHS and the critical role great digital, data and technology plays in delivering it. We are open minded as to your background, but it is likely that you will be working either as a leading Communications professional for a technology service provider/professional services/Full Service Digital/Communications agency serving the tech sector, or a senior technologist who is looking to broaden their experience into a communications, business focused leadership role.

Probably from a technical background, you will have a broad understanding of how infrastructure, platforms and applications are designed, built and managed. You will understand that the way in which users experience digital products can be complex and highly specific to their needs and circumstances and you will know how to talk to them about their experiences, positive and negative. You’ll understand how professionals working in digital, data and technology roles operate, and what information, networks and forums they need to do their job. You’ll have a strong sense of how to engage and inspire these technical specialists, how to talk their language, how to make them feel more confident in their work. 

A professional background in communications is not essential, as we are more interested in your ability to engage audiences in person and online, through a deep insight of users experience of digital products and how to engage and empower professionals working in digital, data and technology roles. 

You’ll know that in this role you can uniquely and very directly impact the critical work of digitising the National Health Service. And you’ll have the ambition and the confidence to step up to that challenge and make it your own. 

What we offer

In addition to a competitive salary you can look forward to the following benefits:

  • 27 days annual leave entitlement increasing with service
  • Buy and sell annual leave scheme
  • Contributory Pension (with a 20.6% contribution from us toward the cost of your pension)
  • Flexible working opportunities
  • A range of NHS Discounts covering, for example, shops, restaurants, gym, mobile phones, and insurance
  • Season ticket loan
  • Car Lease scheme   

If you have the ambition and confidence to step up to make this role your own, please find out more by contacting our advisors at GatenbySanderson:

The close date for applications is Thursday 4 July 2019. If selected, the NHS Digital selection process is scheduled for Friday 12 July 2019 (venue to be confirmed).


Closing Date for Applications 23.59 on Thursday 4th July 2019
NHS Digital Assessment ProcessFriday 12 July 2019
How to Apply

To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application process which includes entering the information outlined below. This should be completed no later than 23:59hrs on Thursday 4th July 2019. 

  • A CV setting out your career history, with responsibilities and achievements;
  • A Statement of Suitability (no longer than two pages) giving examples of how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the essential criteria set out in the Person Specification. Please note that the Statement of Suitability is an important part of your application and is as much the means by which you will be assessed as your CV;
  • A completed Diversity Monitoring Form. All monitoring data will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your application in any way. This is an online form which will appear automatically once you submit your application.

Also, if relevant please submit:

  • A Guaranteed Interview Scheme form for disabled persons if applying under this scheme.

Failure to submit both documents (CV and Supporting Statement) will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification.

All applications must be submitted via this GatenbySanderson website.

If you have any issues with your application or do not receive acknowledgement of your application within 48 hours, please contact Toria Lorman-Connolly

For a confidential discussion about the role please contact GatenbySanderson:

Associated documents
  1. GIS Scheme 2019.docx
Contact details
Adrian Barlow: 07393 011150