So, you want my job? Assistant director of communication, NHS Blood and Transplant

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Steve Park's job as assistant director of communication at NHS Blood and Transplant?

This may not be the job for you if you're squeamish, jokes Steve Parks
This may not be the job for you if you're squeamish, jokes Steve Parks
Steve Park

Assistant director communication, NHS Blood and Transplant

Starting salary/salary band for the job? 

What qualifications do you need?
A degree-level qualification was an essential requirement for the role. But it’s an awfully long time since I did my degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology, and I’m not sure how it qualifies me for the job. I think it’s probably all the things I have learned since then that makes the difference.

What level of experience do you need?
Significant experience in a senior communication role and the ability to demonstrate both strategic and operational leadership in a large, complex organisation. I’m grizzly, long in the tooth and bear the scars of many such roles. It certainly helps to have been round the block a few times, but however experienced you are there is always something new to learn.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
It helps a bit, but I don’t think it’s essential. I’ve worked in government departments, the police service and local councils, but this is my first job in the NHS. Different parts of the public sector have very different cultures and can take a bit of getting used to. Since joining NHSBT I’ve been struck by just how many senior colleagues come from a private sector background.
What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 
We need to recruit 200,000 new blood donors every year to keep up vital blood supplies to hospitals. But, in particular, next year we need to find another 17,000 new black donors who are more likely to have the rare blood group needed to improve the lives of people suffering Sickle Cell Anaemia and other diseases.
If you get an interview, do say?
I’m passionate about being part of an organisation that is all about saving and improving lives. 

If you get an interview, don’t say?
I’m terribly squeamish and I simply can’t abide the sight of blood.

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?
I have learned so many new long words since I joined NHSBT that I think I’d be a great candidate for ‘dictionary corner’ on Countdown.

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