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Head of Pandemic Preparedness

Grade 6


Salary Range:

National: £66,832 London: £70,831

Department and Location:

Department of Heath and Social Care

Leeds, London

Advert Closing Date:


Contract Type:

Loan, Permanent, Secondment

Available Working Pattern:

Flexible Working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Civil Service Jobs Reference:


Job Description:

You will lead the strategy and engagement team within PPSP, playing a key role in the overall leadership and capability building of the wider team. You will be an inclusive leader, supporting your team to be flexible and resilient, and to continue to learn and develop.

Our updated strategic approach responds to the refreshed assessment of Pandemic risk which requires readiness to respond to pandemic threats along all routes of transmission. Our Portfolio looks to implement this new approach by ensuring we have flexible and scalable capabilities across the health and care system. We are also working with Cabinet Office and across Government to help support pandemic preparedness across all sectors.

In this role, you will be a visible leader of pandemic preparedness strategy and strategic engagement, ensuring we continue to develop and embed our strategic approach, leading on coordination with DHSC, UKHSA (working closely with Centre of Pandemic Preparedness - CPP) and NHSE to develop the strategic objectives and identify the gaps and options for future pandemic preparedness, coordinating advice to our Pandemic Preparedness Strategy Board and Ministers on the overall strategic approach. You will work closely with the PPP portfolio team in PPSP to provide assurance on the alignment of the PPP with the strategic approach. You will also oversee coordination within DHSC and with UKHSA on inputs to the Biosecurity Strategy and in particular co-lead on coordination of the Respond Pillar.

This is an exciting time to join the team and play a leading role to help establish fully our strategic approach and Portfolio, and to enhance stakeholder engagement and coordination across the health and care sector on pandemic preparedness.

Much of the work is high-profile and attracts significant parliamentary and media interest. You will build strong relationships with all the key stakeholders across our partner organisations and across government. Additionally, you will need to be comfortable working and leading a team in a complex change environment and getting to grips quickly with a wide Portfolio. You will have the opportunity to develop further your leadership, strategy and policy skills and to lead a high performing and highly motivated team.

Person Specification:

Role responsibilities:

The main responsibilities will also evolve as we are developing our strategic approach , they will include:

Inclusive leadership of a team of G7s, SEO/HEOs, continuing to build capability and adjusting flexibly to emerging priorities, supporting continuous learning and development and contributing to wider leadership of PPSP and EPHP
Visible leadership of pandemic preparedness strategic approach, ensuring that there is strong stakeholder engagement across DHSC, UKHSA, NHSE and communicating the approach confidently to influence implementation across all organisations
Lead the pandemic preparedness strategic approach development and possible refresh of externally published strategy and plans, ensuring that there is appropriate consultation and expert input and supporting the Pandemic Preparedness Strategy Board to steer the strategy as well as coordinating advice to Ministers on the overall approach
Establish a good relationship and close working with both the UKHSA CPP and all the DHSC and NHSE teams working on pandemic preparedness
Ensure that scenarios and assumptions for pandemic preparedness continue to be developed with input from experts and analysts across DHSC and UKHSA, and that the assumptions are shared as needed to inform planning across government
Collaborate effectively with Cabinet Office Resilience Directorate, other departments and devolved administrations to support pandemic preparedness and planning, including leading coordination for DHSC input to cross government exercises
Ensure team inputs to wider programmes of work on preparedness and resilience working closely with other teams in EPHP or Cabinet Office as appropriate
Effective coordination of the 2023 Biological Security Respond Pillar, ensuring timely escalation of risks to delivery through the APHA/DHSC co-led Pillar Board
Excellent quality briefing and input to Parliamentary business on pandemic preparedness

Key skills and experience required for the role:


Experience of leading the development of strategy or cross-cutting policy in a complex environment and across multiple organisations, including providing advice to senior officials, Boards or Ministers
Strong strategic thinking and analytical skills , with the ability to draw from large variety of evidence and inputs, to ensure clear proposals, outcomes and objectives
Proven ability to influence senior stakeholders across organisational boundaries and to communicate with impact to a variety of audiences, orally and in writing
Experience of inclusive leadership of a team to produce high quality outputs and to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity in a complex change context, pivoting as needed to respond to emerging priorities, and continuing to learn and develop
Proven ability to build networks and trusting relationships with a wide range of stakeholders at all levels across organisations and of effective stakeholder management
Experience of driving timely delivery of objectives and maintaining good governance processes, ensuring appropriate prioritisation and escalation of risk so as to provide assurance to Ministers and senior officials
Experience with strategy or policy in a programme/portfolio or other programmatic delivery environment and good understanding of associated governance and assurance processes

It would be beneficial to have

Knowledge of health and/or social care policy or emergency preparedness.
Experience with cross Whitehall coordination and stakeholder management.

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