Daily Insight: a true “career-defining experience” | New

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NHS England is looking for “an ambitious and inspiring leader” to be its next COO. The successful candidate will have no shortage of tasks on their to-do list, with core responsibilities including operational delivery by the NHS in England, oversight and execution of the long-term plan and supporting the development of integrated systems of care.

The job description and person specifications posted with the advertisement highlight the type of person NHSE is looking for. Unsurprisingly, he wants someone with “recent experience as CEO of an NHS trust or NHS foundation or comparable organization”.

Amanda Pritchard – who held the post before she was promoted to CEO of the NHSE this summer – headed the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, while current interim COO Mark Cubbon is a former CEO of the Portsmouth Hospital Trust .

Other “core skills and experience” requested include: a “strong personal commitment to driving quality and efficiency improvements and delivering transformative change for patients”; a “highly developed political antenna with sufficient QE to be able to read and understand the motivations of individuals and groups”; and “vigilance in analyzing the external environment to anticipate threats and opportunities in the sector and talent”. The job posting adds that if that could also be someone who “suspends the ego” that would be great.

The ad promises “to play the role of the NHS [COO] for our NHS will indeed be truly a career-defining experience ”(but, if it is insufficient, the salary of between £ 161,601 and £ 191,900 should help to make up for the disappointment).

A ruined service

“There are a lot of services that get hooked by the nails,” replied one of them. HSJ reader to the news that Nottingham University Hospitals have had to restrict chemotherapy treatments due to understaffing.

It may be true that NHS resources are depleted and that the legacy of covid is often felt in terms of staff vacancies and sickness, but this NUH measure is deeply concerning and looks like a line in the sand.

The trust apologized for the “concern and upheaval” this decision caused and stressed that a “small number” of patients would be affected and that service limitations would be in place for as short a period as possible. .

The public may now be used to the news of surgery and test cancellations, but cancer treatment is another more troubling level. Being forced to restrict access to chemotherapy even to a small number of patients highlights how much pressure this important acute East Midland trust is currently under.

And that’s not the only challenge NUH faces; a poor report from the Quality of Care Commission, warnings about poor emergency and emergency services, culture and maternity services, its board of directors (minus its executive director Tracy Taylor who is on shutdown long-term illness), has a tremendous amount of work to do.


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