Executive Director of Product Delivery

NHS Digital

London or Leeds (with opportunity for flexible working)

  • Location

    London or Leeds (with opportunity for flexible working)

  • Job type


  • Sector

    Digital, Data & Technology, Health

  • Salary/Remuneration

    To £146,450

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    31 October 2021

  • Client

    NHS Digital

Ref: GSe76334

NHS Digital is the national digital, data and technology delivery partner for the NHS and social care system. We create powerful tools and services that support NHS staff at work, help people get the best care, and use the nation’s health data to drive research and improve services. The scope of the products and services we provide is vast, from building and running the core IT and data infrastructure, platforms and live services on which the NHS and social care system relies, through to designing and developing digital products that help NHS and care staff do their work and that put people in control of their health and care.

During the pandemic, NHS Digital has played a crucial role, working around the clock to deliver data and insight used by key decision makers to tackle the pandemic and to plan for recovery. With a new CEO and strategic vision, we are entering an exciting phase in our development as a trusted delivery partner to the NHS and all those who rely on the unparalleled breadth and depth of the critical services it provides.

An extraordinary health and care service deserves exceptional talent to support it’s delivery. Whilst proud of what our amazing people have achieved to date, we are now seeking to appoint to a number of key leadership positions to drive forward our ambitious strategy and plans for the future, in support of the NHS. This is your chance to be part of an organisation that makes a very real and positive contribution to the NHS, every day and on a national scale. If you are up for a challenge of this scale and complexity, we’d love to hear from you.  

The Role 

NHS Digital, designs, builds and operates a rapidly expanding portfolio of flagship and tactical, online products and services upon which the NHS relies. Reporting to the CEO, the Executive Director of Products will be accountable for the development and implementation of those critical products and services across the key ‘placemats’ of Health and care systems and technology. Examples of our work include the NHS App, NHS 111 and enabling delivery of the national vaccination programme. Additional key accountabilities of the post include:

  • Leading by example, empowering a significant scale, multi-disciplinary, distributed Product Development Directorate, in it’s evolution away from traditional programme delivery to a product and service operating model, focussed on outcomes.    
  • Positioning NHS Digital as the exemplar for Product Development across the health and care system, pioneering innovative approaches to solution design and delivery within the context of a highly regulated, complex, ambiguous operating environment and sector.
  • Driving the strategic vision for Product Development within NHS Digital, including embedding User Centred Design principles and practice across the entirety of the NHSD profession and product portfolio.   
  • Working collegiately with senior stakeholders within NHS Digital and up and out across the Health and Care System, particularly with NHSX and NHSEI, to drive and support an integrated approach to strategy development and to share ideas and insight to directly enhance health and social care provision for citizens.
  • Building a high integrity, high performing, highly motivated Product function, which is fully representative of society it serves, with the capability, courage and ambition to push the boundaries of innovative and ‘disruptive’ product development in health and care.
  • Working hand in hand with the Platforms, Infrastructure and Live Services teams to ensure the development and delivery of online products and services which are scalable, secure, intuitive for customers to use and trusted by clinical professionals and citizens alike.

The Person

To succeed in this role, you will be a passionate, persuasive, empowering leader and product professional with an evident care for and investment in, the health and welfare of the NHS and all those it serves. You will have a clear vision for strategy and excellence in product and the experience to deliver on that promise, gained within a data rich, complex, technology enabled, public, or commercial sector organisation.

Additionally, your offer will include:

  • Evidence of leading by example, a significant scale, multi-disciplinary product development function, including working in tandem with technology teams to define and implement Target Operating Models which support fast paced delivery.  
  • A people focused, inclusive approach to leadership, with experience of building the capability and capacity of the product profession, including attracting and developing the very best diverse talent.
  • Accountability for the development of end to end, interoperable, online products and services, including integration with legacy technology systems to deliver a seamless user experience drawing upon an exposure to software development process and practice.
  • Working credibly and collegiately at the executive level, managing complex, senior stakeholder relationships within and outside your organisation, to foster broad based support for your strategic product vision and delivery roadmap.
  • Comfortable operating across a large product portfolio and span of control, making effective strategic decisions in an environment where there may be no precedent or external point of reference.
  • An ability to simplify complexity in product design and development through embedding exemplary user centred design approaches, including significant close working with multi-disciplinary teams to effectively manage change.  
  • Working effectively within a DevOps operating model, combining LEAN/Agile development techniques. with a proven methodology for mitigating risk and ensuring good governance in fast paced, dynamic product development and delivery.
  • Drawing upon a strong public profile and professional network to drive innovation and inform strategy making, including partnership working with a wide range of strategic and tactical 3rd party providers.  

Further Information



Recruitment Timetable

Closing Date for Applications
Sunday 31 October 2021 @ 11.59pm

Preliminary Interviews with GatenbySanderson
w/c Monday 8 November 2021

Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement Exercise (SEE) & Informal Conversations (IC)
Wednesday 17 November 2021 to Friday 3 December 2021

Final Panel Interviews
End of w/c Monday 6 December 2021

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please submit:

  • An up to date and relevant CV setting out your career history, with responsibilities and achievements
  • A Supporting Statement (no more than 2 pages of  A4) 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.
  • Please include the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. We will not approach your referees without your prior permission.

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.

Should you wish to have a confidential conversation with to explore this role before applying please contact us


  1. Fit and Proper Person Declaration.docx
  2. How to write a Suitability Statement.pdf


Adrian Barlow: 07393 011150
Lisa Paul-Wickham: 07570 654 500