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DHSC Announces New Director of Communications Role

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced plans to expand its senior leadership team with the addition of a new director of communications. This new role, which is expected to command a salary of up to £120,000 per annum, will work alongside the current director of communications, Rachel Carr, who has been serving in her role since December 2017​

The new role has been created to enhance the team's resilience and ensure a constant senior focus on news and ministerial communications. The level of senior oversight being sought by the DHSC has been underscored by the department's response to the pandemic​

While the department's recruitment drive makes no specific reference to the impending Covid Inquiry set to investigate the UK's handling of the pandemic and its impact, the addition of a second communications director is expected to help manage the increased media attention anticipated from the inquiry's evidence sessions, which are predicted to continue until 2026​

The successful candidate, who will initially be employed on a two-year fixed-term contract, will report directly to the DHSC's second permanent secretary, Shona Dunn. Although the role will be primarily based in London, the job will require travel to various locations. The DHSC has been operating a hybrid-working system since November, which requires staff to be in the office for a minimum of eight days per month​

The candidate pack specifies that applicants need not have a background in health and social care. However, they must demonstrate a successful track record in communications management within high-profile environments and an aptitude for clear message delivery. Shona Dunn, the second permanent secretary, has emphasised the importance of communication skills in the healthcare sector due to its constant presence in news and political discussions. The role requires not only reaching out to the 1.3 million NHS employees but also effectively communicating with the 56 million people who will rely on its services at some point in their lives​

Applications for this new communications director role will be accepted until 18 June.

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