Help the Hospices hunts PA head amid shake-up

Help the Hospices is seeking a ­director of public policy and parliamentary affairs as part of a comms overhaul.

Former deputy chief ­executive Chris Shaw, who ­previously handled the body's public policy and PA work, left in the summer and has not been replaced.

Olivia Belle, who joined as Help the Hospices' first director of comms in September from a similar role at the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: ‘The job will be to build on what Chris has done with the policy team: getting the hospice movement better understood by government and political parties.'

With a team of three, and reporting to CEO David Praill, the new appointee will face a brace of pressing issues.

The first involves money: hospices gain 30 to 35 per cent of their revenue from government. Belle said: ‘Hospices provide services that would otherwise have to be done by the NHS. We are looking for a fair funding structure.'

The second issue concerns potential changes to the organisation's structure that could affect the way it is viewed by influencers and policy makers.

Although plans have yet to be finalised, moves are afoot to transform the body from an umbrella group (for more than 200 independent hospices) into a fully fledged membership organisation. This would have implications for its governance - for example, Help the Hospices would be account­able to a board of trustees elected from its membership.

Internal comms would also need beefing up in this case - part of Belle's remit in her newly created role.

She leads a team of ten, which includes the media division, online operations and publications.

Help the Hospices was formed in 1984 and provides, in addition to its PA activities, training, education, grants, advice, research, fundraising and information.

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