DoH comms director McCallum quits post

The Department of Health is on the hunt for a director of communications

following the announcement that Helen McCallum is to leave.

McCallum, who has been at the DoH for seven years, is joining the

Environment Agency as director of corporate affairs at the beginning of


Although the DoH is currently undergoing a departmental review, McCallum

claims communications will be unaffected due to a restructure she

carried out last year.

McCallum was appointed director of communications at the DoH in January

1999. She was responsible for restructuring the media centre to avoid

the long hours that had characterised it in the past (PRWeek, 14 January

2000) and implemented successful campaigns to boost nursing


Other changes she introduced include the division of the department into

three teams, the review of the rota system and the introduction of a

planning unit to help the department take a longer term strategic


Following her departure, the 130 staff will report to the three

departmental directors (media relations, corporate communications and

campaigns) until a successor is appointed. The decision on who replaces

McCallum lies with DoH permanent secretary and NHS chief executive Nigel


At the Environment Agency, McCallum will report directly to chief

executive Barbara Young with responsibility for 40 staff based in London

and Bristol, as well as overseeing PR teams in the regions and


Commenting on the move, she said: 'I will be looking at the Environment

Agency's positioning and at developing relationships with government,

voluntary and other organisations.'

She will also be promoting understanding of the Environment Agency's

role - explaining what its powers are, the opportunities it has to

protect the environment, as well as developing its education arm and

focusing on extending international relations.

McCallum replaces Brian O'Neill, who moves to construction and support

services company John Mowlem as communications director.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in