Introduction 

The Patients Association is embarking on one of the most exciting, and important, periods in its history. We’ve set ambitious, challenging objectives for the future, and as the only national campaigning charity covering health and social care that also works directly with patients, we know we have a big job on our hands.

Our vision is very simple. We want health and social care to be delivered in a way that meets every person’s health and social care needs.

In July 2018 the NHS turned 70, but the health service still faces serious challenges, with an ageing population and rising obesity pushing up demand on services, and a pressing need for social care reform. There has never been a more important time for the Patients Association to act for patients. We’re prepared for this challenge, and ready to step up our work to empower patients across the UK.

As our charity grows and the importance of our work increases, we are investing in some key appointments and are now recruiting for a Head of Programmes. This is a key position leading on developing and managing a programme of projects in line with our strategy to achieve change in health and care services.  

The primary responsibility of the role will be to grow and develop all projects and programmes and introduce new initiatives.

Job Title:                 Head of Programmes

Responsible to:    Chief Executive

Salary:                     £30,000

Contract:               Permanent, full-time, 37.5 hours

The role

Develop and manage a programme of projects in line with the Patients Association’s strategy, focusing on patient involvement, service improvement and other work to achieve positive change in health and care services. The projects will be conducted by freelance project managers: you will engage these project managers, and supervise the successful delivery of their work.

You will have a good understanding of NHS and social care processes and structures, and experience of leading or participating in health or social care quality improvement projects. In addition to the above, you will have strong written and oral communication skills, as well as experience of engaging with a range of internal and external stakeholders.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Work with the CEO and the leadership team to design new ideas for programmes and projects as well as ongoing improvements to existing projects and programmes and securing the funding to undertake them
  • Develop and implement monitoring and evaluation frameworks for all our project and programme work, ensuring that all learning is interpreted and fed back into the organisation
  • Identify, develop and implement new business and partnership opportunities from initial bid and contract stage through to project implementation and evaluation
  • Responsible for the engagement, induction and supervision of the self-employed project managers
  • Develop excellent working relationships with funders and potential funders, offering a highly efficient service
  • Provide regular reports, ensuring that all projects are focused to develop against their objectives and provide a high quality service
  • Using our database, be responsible for providing monthly and ad hoc reports against performance and budget
  • Work closely with our Head of Policy and our Head of Income Generation to ensure service delivery is on track
  • Work closely with our Communications and Marketing Manager to promote new business opportunities, disseminate the learning from projects, and to share the impact of our charitable work with our members, supporters and the wider public

 General Responsibilities

  • Co-operate with all staff in maintaining good relationships with outside agencies and the general public in order to uphold the charity's image and win increased support for its work
  • Maintain confidentiality in all areas of work
  • Ensure that your conduct does not conflict with professional expectations
  • Actively support and promote the Patients Association’s values
  • Co-operate with all staff in maintaining harmonious inter-personal relationships
  • Ensure an awareness and observation of fire and health and safety regulations
  • Participate in regular supervision sessions with your line manager
  • Carry out any other duties within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, the title of the post and its grading as requested by your line manager or his or her higher level of authority.

Note: This job description reflects the present requirements of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop, the job description will be reviewed and is subject to amendment in consultation with the post holder.

Person specification

Essential Criteria

  • Deep understanding of NHS and social care processes and structures
  • Proven experience of project management evaluation techniques
  • Good understanding of national policy and current issues affecting health and social care
  • Knowledge of engagement theory and practices
  • Ability to analyse performance data
  • Experience of planning, monitoring and reporting on project budget spend
  • Understanding of good practice in presenting analysis and findings in formal documents, including the use of branding and house styles
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, in particular Word and Excel, with the ability to generate and modify formulas
  • Proven experience of understanding data and trends and report on these in a meaningful way
  • Excellent organisational skills, able to manage competing deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the vision the ensure that the patient is at heart of all decision making
  • Experience of engaging external suppliers and managing relationships with them
  • Experience of preparing information for funding applications and submitting project funding bids
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to adopt and convey messages to a wide variety of individuals from different backgrounds
  • Ability to travel nationally.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of working with multi-disciplinary teams
  • Experience of leading or participating in a health or social care quality improvement project
  • Project Management Qualification
  • Understanding of impact measurement and storytelling, and their importance for income generation
  • Knowledge of funding streams available for charitable projects
  • Experience of using contact management databases eg Salesforce
  • Experience of using social media.

How to apply

To apply for the post, email [email protected] with your cover letter and CV. The closing date for applications is 21 November, with interviews taking place on Friday 30 November.