Department of Health in press office rejig

The Department of Health is undertaking a comms reshuffle ahead of major changes in the NHS, with press officers being placed into policy-specific desks.

Tim Jones: head of news
Tim Jones: head of news

The trial move has seen the team of about 40 return to its former policy-focused way of working. Five years ago, the newsdesk was set up to respond to all incoming calls, regardless of subject matter.

The move has seen five staff, some drafted in from other departments in the NHS, become permanent chief press officers leading teams in specialised areas including public health and social care.

Tim Jones, head of news at DH, said: 'As a department dealing with some very big and very complicated issues, we needed a degree of experience and permanency within our press office. Recruiting permanent staff was the first step to making sure this happens.'

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