NHS England promotes head of media to deputy comms chief

NHS England and Improvement has promoted its former head of media, James Mole, to the role of deputy director of comms, PRWeek has learned.

James Mole will provide strategic counsel to NHS leaders as part of his new role (Pic credit: James Mole)
James Mole will provide strategic counsel to NHS leaders as part of his new role (Pic credit: James Mole)

James Mole will lead NHS England's media, external affairs and comms response teams and help manage “very high levels of media, political and stakeholder interest” in what is “among the most scrutinised public bodies in the country”, according to an official description of the role. He will also deputise for the director of comms.

Strategic counsel to NHS leaders

In addition to managing the comms team, Mole will work as an advisor to NHS England and Improvement’s national executive team and will provide strategic counsel on comms issues to the chief executive and other senior NHS leaders to help inform their decisions.

A high-profile search is under way for a new chief executive of NHS England to replace Sir Simon Stevens.

Dido Harding, who was in charge of the NHS Test and Trace programme until earlier this year, had been mooted as a possible successor for Stevens, but has been ruled out by the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, according to media reports.

NHS England is expected to announce Stevens' successor as chief executive in the coming days, with his deputy, Amanda Pritchard, regarded as one of the top contenders.

Career path

Mole began his comms career in the press office for the Liberal Democrats in the run-up to the 2010 general election. He was also a constituency caseworker for the party’s former leader, Nick Clegg, as well as a Parliamentary researcher for former Lib Dem MP David Laws.

He spent four years with Citizens Advice, rising to become head of advocacy and campaigns for the charity before he left to join the NHS.

James Lyons
James Lyons

In his new role, Mole will report to NHS England and Improvement’s director of comms, James Lyons (above).

Lyons was promoted to director of comms earlier this year following the departure of Simon Enright, who left to becomes comms secretary to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

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