Deputy director of policy

Lead our strategic policy team and programme to ensure we play a pivotal role in influencing government, national bodies and other key stakeholders.
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  • Flexible, with regular presence in London required (Currently home based due to COVID-19.

  • Permanent, full time

  • £61,405 plus £10,000 market supplement. £4,000 London weighting if applicable

This is a senior leadership role where you will play a pivotal role in influencing government, national bodies and other key stakeholders on behalf of our members.

Working with the Director of Policy (and the Chief Executive and wider executive team) you will manage our strategic policy influencing programme to make sure that policy developments reflect our members’ needs as well as their expertise and experience:-

1. Identifying key policy and legislative opportunities and developments that will affect our members.

2. Leading the delivery of products, papers and campaigns on behalf of our members, including leading by example in terms of personal input and delivery.

3. Representing the interests of our members at the highest levels, ensuring their views and concerns are heard in the political, professional and public arenas.

4. Programme managing priority policy activity across the organisation.

5. Supporting members to interpret the implications of policy developments; and to address the policy and strategic challenges of the evolving health and care policy landscape.

6. Managing an effective, responsive, happy and well-functioning strategic policy team.

7. Supporting development of our policy professionals’ skills and expertise.

The Role

This role involves leading our Strategic Policy team, including interfacing with our insight teams, sector-specific policy specialists, and our communications team.

This will involve both reactive policy, longer-term strategic influencing, and thought leadership for the health sector, converting member experience, insight and needs into trusted and effective policy influence.

You will be expected to build excellent relations with their counterparts in government and arm’s length bodies, to participate in member and other stakeholder engagement at every level in partnership with our insight teams, and to have personal internal and external impact.

The post involves line management of six committed individuals undertaking policy analysis and providing expert policy advice in key areas that are a priority for our members.

  • Working with the Director of Policy you will have responsibility for:

    Analysing and influencing policy and legislation to represent and support members

    You will:

    • Programme manage a policy influencing programme across the organisation.
    • Personally deliver and ensure delivery of high quality policy advice, and products that reflect member views, provide value to our members and that are influential on their behalf, including: reports, policy briefings, Ministerial letters, consultation responses, media responses.
    • Provide a responsive policy service to interpret rapid current affairs and policy developments.
    • Ensure that our influencing activity combines member insight with data, policy expertise and contextual insight, and is aligned across the organisation.
    • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of our policy and influencing work.

    Supporting members by interpreting relevant policy and legislation

    You will:

    • Deliver briefings and speak at webinars, roundtables, and other events to help inform health and care leaders of the key issues of the day, and connect members with the latest policy thinking, research and developments, and help explain the practical implications of policy developments.

    Networks and stakeholder management

    You will build strong, credible and productive relationships with:

    • Members: Chief Executives, Chairs and board-level Directors of member organisations in England; and with our Wales and Northern Ireland offices.
    • Officials: Counterparts in the Department of Health and Social Care and arms length bodies such as NHS England and NHS Improvement.
    • Politicians: Ministers, senior Parliamentarians and their teams across the political spectrum.
    • Partner organisations and key stakeholders – including, but not limited to, LGA, ADASS, NAPC, NHS Providers, AMRC, Royal Colleges, Richmond Group, Healthwatch and National Voices.
    • Academia: Counterparts in academic institutions including think tanks.
    • Internal: Our member insight, sector-specific policy, communications and external affairs teams; and with members of our Group Executive.


    You will:

    • Work closely with our communications team to ensure we are influencing effectively on behalf of our members and producing high quality content.
    • Provide informed comment and background briefing on topical health stories and issues for the media.
    • Act as an external spokesperson for us where appropriate, including by giving broadcast media interviews, writing blogs and op-eds and taking part in public speaking engagements.
    • Contribute to the promotion of our content via social media and other key channels.

    Management and leadership

    You will:

    • Provide excellent leadership and strategic direction to deliver an effective, responsive and high-quality strategic policy function, and deliver across the organisation on our thematic policy priorities.
    • Deliver excellent programme management that brings all parts of the organisation with you.
    • Deliver outstanding people management, including setting clear direction, supporting our policy professionals to develop and reach their potential, and enabling a happy and cohesive team with a shared commitment to excellence.
    • Provide excellent line management, including setting clear objectives for direct reports and providing regular appraisals.
    • Optimise the allocation of staff time and resources to policy projects to make the best use of capacity and skills.
    • Deliver an annual budget proposal and manage expenditure in-year to keep within this.
    • Deputise for the Director of Policy as appropriate.
  • You will have:


    • Extensive involvement in the development of health strategy or policy.
    • Successful track record of delivering insightful and influential thought leadership.
    • Management experience including leading, developing and motivating successful teams
    • Record of working collaboratively with partner organisations to build coalitions and achieve shared goals.
    • Experience of working with press and media (desirable).


    • Excellent knowledge of current UK health policy, service delivery challenges and developments within the wider NHS (essential).
    • Deep understanding of the UK political environment and the operation of government (desirable).
    • In-depth understanding of the issues facing health and care systems and how they might be tackled (desirable).
    • Understanding of contemporary communications methods, their delivery, and how these relate to the success of a membership-driven organisation (desirable).
    • Understanding of membership organisations and how to influence policymakers on behalf of members (desirable).


    • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills that cut through complexity and provide insight, including an understanding of quantitative and qualitative analysis.
    • Ability to write accessible and compelling policy narratives, and to shape others’ drafting to be appropriate for different audiences.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including being personally credible and influential with senior stakeholders.
    • Ability to drive the development of a portfolio of work closely informed by member priorities and needs.
    • Proven ability to build strong personal relationships and effective formal and informal networks.
    • Authentic and effective manager and leader that inspires trust and a commitment to excellence.
    • Ability to effectively manage the team’s work programme, ensuring it is relevant, timely and of a high quality.
    • Ability to be responsive and agile in a rapidly changing environment.
    • Strategic and entrepreneurial approach to best leverage opportunities.
    • Excellent public speaker
  • Health and Safety At Work Act

    You will be required to take reasonable care for the safety and health of yourself and others who may be affected by their acts and to promote/ maintain health and safety measures.

Apply now

Complete the application form

Send your application to

If you would like an informal discussion about the role before applying, please email Layla McCay

Application Deadline: 13th June 2021

Interview Date: 24th or 25th June 2021

All applications must be received by 5.30pm on the day of the closing date unless specified. If your application is late, for whatever reason, there is no guarantee that we will be able to consider it.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive we are unable to respond to each applicant in person. Therefore, if you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date, your application has not been successful.