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NHS England seeks ‘strong’ COO who can ‘suspend ego’

Published on: 23 Sep 2021

NHS England is advertising for a “strong” permanent chief operating officer who “suspends ego”, following Amanda Pritchard’s promotion to CEO earlier this year. 

The advert says NHSE is looking for a COO who is “an ambitious and inspiring leader”, adding: “Delivering the role of NHS chief operating officer for our NHS will indeed truly be a career-defining experience”.

It adds: “We are… seeking to recruit a very experienced and strong senior leader. A high degree of resilience, the ability to deal with ambiguity, and excellent communication skills are all essential attributes…

“We would like to recruit a leader who communicates compassionately, thinks conceptually, shares power and risk and suspends ego to influence, engage and motivate and who creates trust and loyalty.”

According to the job description, some of the COO’s core responsibilities will include:

  • Operational delivery by the NHS in England, including performance standards across systems;
  • Leading the oversight and delivery of the long-term plan;
  • Supporting the development of ICSs; 
  • Supporting regional directors and system leaders in delivering structural change, including clinical reconfiguration, within and across local systems; and
  • Emergency preparedness, resilience and response particularly in relation to the covid incident and the vaccine programme.

The job description adds NHSE is looking for somebody with “significant board level experience, but strongly grounded in the NHS” and “recent experience as a CEO of an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust or comparable organisation”. 

The salary range for the job is executive senior manager level 3, which is between £161,601 and £191,900.

Mark Cubbon is currently NHSE’s interim COO, having previously been deputy COO. He took on the new role when Ms Pritchard was promoted to NHSE CEO in August. Mr Cubbon is a former Portsmouth Hospital Trust chief executive, while Ms Pritchard led Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust before joining NHSE. 

Update: This story was updated at 13:10 on 28 September to change the reference to “extremely senior manager” to “executive senior manager”.