Appointment of the Chief People Officer

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Thank you for your interest in the role of Chief People Officer (CPO) at Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (QVH). We hope you will find all the information you need to learn a little more about QVH, its aspirations and future ambitions and that this post is of interest to you.

QVH has world-leading clinical teams and our patients consistently rate QVH amongst the top hospitals in the country for quality of care. Whilst we are eager to hold onto our global reputation; QVH must look to the future, recognising the challenges that come in being the smallest, specialist NHS trust in England.

As we enter this new and exciting chapter in our history, we need a CPO who will work as part of a unitary board and who will take responsibility for leading our workforce and development functions. Wanting to maintain a fully engaged and supported, well-motivated, highly skilled, and high performing workforce, our CPO will transform the workforce to ensure its fit for the future. Working with compassion, inclusivity and fairness; you will be ambitious for our future as well as engage with a variety of others to deliver a programme of organisational development initiatives to further shape our culture.

We welcome applicants from all sectors, but you must be able to demonstrate your success in delivering organisational development initiatives and demonstrate an awareness and appreciation as to the complexity of the NHS and its various stakeholder influences. We want transformational change, and we want you to inspire others so that they can also commit to QVH, and its future for the generations yet to come.

We hope you find the information below helpful and naturally, if you’d like a confidential conversation about your possible candidacy, please contact Helene Usherwood at Anderson Quigley on 07719 322 669 or contact her at


About us

Queen Victoria Hospital is a specialist NHS hospital providing life-changing reconstructive surgery, burns care and rehabilitation services for people who have been damaged or disfigured through accidents or disease.

Our world-leading clinical teams provide specialist surgery and non-surgical treatment for people across the south east and beyond. We specialise in conditions of the hands and eyes, head and neck cancer and skin cancer, reconstructive breast surgery, maxillofacial surgery and prosthetics.

In addition, the people of East Grinstead and the surrounding area benefit from our expert clinicians treating more common conditions in our areas of specialism. We also provide a minor injuries unit, therapies services and a sleep service.

We are a centre of excellence, with an international reputation for pioneering advanced techniques and treatments.

QVH at a glance

Specialist expertise: QVH is a leading specialist centre for reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation, helping people who have been damaged or disfigured through accidents or disease.

Internationally renowned: We have a proud heritage and are known throughout the world for pioneering new and innovative techniques and treatments.

Local services: We provide a minor injuries unit and other services for people living in and around East Grinstead.

Rated excellent: Patients rate us as one of the top hospitals in the country for quality of care.

1,000 staff: We employ around 1,000 skilled and committed staff, dedicated to helping QVH provide the very best care for our patients, and we are the largest employer in the local area.

7,500 members: As one of the country’s first NHS foundation trusts we are accountable to local people through our public members across Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex and South London.

What drives you?

In the following video, we hope it will be helpful for you to hear what our nursing staff and operating department practitioner say about working at QVH:

The role

Chief People Officer (AQ1787)

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Job Title: Chief People Officer
Band: VSM
Base: Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead
Business Unit / Department: Trust Board
Reports to: Chief Executive
Accountable to: Chief Executive


The Chief People Officer will lead the workforce and organisational development functions, ensuring that they serve the needs of clinical and non-clinical departments across the Trust.

The post-holder will ensure that the Trust maintains a fully engaged and supported, well-motivated, highly skilled and high-performing workforce. They will develop and implement an integrated annual workforce plan, and lead the transformation of the workforce to ensure it is fit for the future.

The Chief People Officer will be responsible for oversight of all aspects of the Trust’s teaching and learning activities, and work to develop innovative recruitment strategies and pipelines.

The Chief People Officer will ensure QVH is an active participant in the Integrated Care System, working with workforce directors in other NHS and social care organisations.

Main working relationships

Chief executive, executive directors, non-executive directors, heads of nursing, general managers, clinical directors and service managers, director of medical education, staff side.
Health Education England Kent, Surrey & Sussex, NHS Employers, NHS England, NHS Sussex.

Department structure

You can view our structure chart here.

Key result areas

Organisational Development

Deliver an ambitious, engaging and actively managed programme of organisational development initiatives, designed to shape the organisational culture and put staff at the heart of everything we do.

Improve leadership at every level in the Trust, through the design and delivery of high quality leadership development programmes, and provision of advice and support to line managers, in support of positive culture change and innovation.

Nurture and develop clinical and managerial talent for future leadership roles, with a talent management and succession planning framework in order to maintain service continuity and effective leadership.

Deliver plans to ensure that the Trust has the highest levels of staff engagement and is recognised as a model employer.

Ensure that there is strong, active and co-ordinated action to support the health and well-being of staff.

Exploit technological solutions to improve workforce management across the Trust.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Advocate and uphold a culture in which inclusion, equality, and diversity and allyship are actively promoted across the Trust, specifically supporting the Trust in addressing workforce-related aspects of EDI.

Education and Learning

Lead the development and implementation of the education strategy for the Trust.

Work closely with academic partners to optimise the training and development of clinical professional staff and the development of new roles.

Oversee the mandatory training programme for all staff, ensuring that the training is of high quality and economical in terms of staff time, that training outcomes are evaluated and compliance is appropriately reported to the Board.

Strategy and Policy

Interpret and anticipate national, regional and local health policy to ensure the Trust’s plans support effective recruitment, retention, leadership and management of staff, in line with the NHS People Plan.

Ensure all people development strategies and plans support the Trust’s ambitions and priorities and are properly integrated into wider corporate and organisational planning.

Develop and embed policies and procedures, appropriate to the needs of the Trust, consistent with the Trust’s values and compliant with legislative and regulatory requirements, ensuring that QVH operates fair and responsible employee relations which support the effective and efficient management of staff.

System Working and Provider Collaboration

Work closely with partner organisations in the interests of creating attractive career pathways for local people, spanning different employers and operating to consistent standards.

Develop strong relationships with workforce leaders in the local system, the region and nationally, to influence people policy and practice.

Workforce Planning and Performance

Develop and implement an integrated annual workforce plan, aligned with the Trust’s operating plans, to ensure QVH has an appropriately skilled and experienced workforce at all levels.

Work closely with other senior staff to introduce innovative recruitment and retention strategies, including new, flexible roles and ways of working, putting workforce redesign at the heart of service transformation.

Develop and implement proactive recruitment and retention plans, to ensure that the Trust has the right numbers of appropriately qualified and trained staff for the short and long term.

Lead on the development, implementation and monitoring of key performance indicators and provide workforce information and assurance to the Trust Board and sub-committees, and to managers, to facilitate improved individual and organisational performance.

Ensure there is a clear and transparent framework in place for appraisal and performance management of all employees, supporting delivery of the Trust’s priorities, and that line managers are trained to use it robustly and held accountable for people management and performance at local level.

Employee Relations

Develop and promote productive partnership working with staff representatives, trade unions and professional bodies, involving them appropriately in strategic and operational planning to enable the Trust to deliver its objectives.

Use national and local staff surveys and other methods to understand staff views and concerns in detail and implement robust plans to improve staff satisfaction.

Workforce and OD Directorate Functions

Provide professional leadership, vision and direction for the workforce and organisational development functions and ensure these functions provide the best possible service to internal customers.

Lead on the talent management and professional development of colleagues in the workforce and organisational development functions.

Personal and Professional Development

Participate in the Trust’s annual appraisal system designed to identify objectives and personal development opportunities.

Ensure that all mandatory training is up to date.

The post holder will be responsible for continually maintaining their working knowledge of local practices, policies and procedures and highlight ongoing training and development needs to their manager.


Executive member of unitary board

QVH operates as a unitary board and the Board of Directors is responsible for decision making associated with:

  • The strategic direction of the Trust, ensuring that there is a clear vision for the Trust that people understand.
  • The provision of high quality and safe healthcare services.
  • Ensuring the Trust exercises its functions effectively, efficiently and economically.
  • Overall performance of the Trust in relation to standards set by regulatory bodies.
  • Ensuring effective arrangements are in place for governance and risk management.
  • Ensuring compliance with the Trust’s Provider Licence and associated legislation, regulation and best practice.

The Chief People Officer will offer expert advice to the Board and participate in shaping and implementing Board level decision making.

Risk management

All executive directors are responsible for taking a systematic and rigorous approach to risk management, ensuring risks are understood and owned at the right levels, managing both operational and strategic risks, promptly identifying indicators that may point to escalating problems, agreeing actions, and working within the Board’s risk appetite parameters.


All executive directors work to motivate, inspire and engage individual and teams, to enhance the Trust’s external image, to create opportunities to enhance understanding of the Trust’s work, and to enhance the profile of the Trust as an employer of choice for clinical and non-clinical staff.

On call 

The post holder will also participate in Trust senior manager on call rota.

Health and Safety

The postholder must be aware of the responsibilities placed on them under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and must follow these at all times, including ensuring that they act in line with all policies and procedures at all times in order to maintain a safe environment for patients, visitors and colleagues. It is the responsibility of the postholder to complete a display screen equipment (DSE) self-assessment, with reference to the Trust Policy.

Equality and Diversity

The postholder is required to promote equality in service delivery and employment practices. All employees must comply with all the Trusts equality and diversity policies, procedures and initiatives.

Infection Prevention and Control

Infection Prevention and Control is everybody’s responsibility. All staff are required to adhere to the Trust’s Infection Prevention and Control policy and make every effort to maintain high standards of infection prevention and control at all times.

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

The Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all employees to share this commitment. Recruitment checks are undertaken in accordance with the NHS Employment Check Standards and successful applicants may be required to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Smoke free Trust

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a smoke-free Trust covering Trust premises, grounds and any Trust owned vehicle. Staff should not smoke during their working hours and will be protected from passive smoking both in the Trust and whilst making home visits.


It is the responsibility of all staff to minimise the Trust’s environmental impact by recycling wherever possible, switching off lights, computers, monitors and equipment when not in use, minimising water usage and reporting faults promptly.

QVH Trust Values




  • Educated to master’s degree or equivalent.
  • Membership or Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or equivalent.
  • Evidence of further personal and professional development.


  • Director level experience.
  • Fellowship of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  • Formal training or qualification in management and/or leadership.


  • Successful track record in a people focussed leadership role in an NHS or public services or similar organisation operating in a complex environment/ sector.
  • Formulating and implementing successful workforce and organisational development strategies.
  • Evidence of success in implementing transformational change within a large and complex organisation, including service and workforce redesign in the public sector or similar.
  • Demonstrable achievement working collaboratively with other senior staff, setting objectives and achieving goals so as to ensure improvement.
  • Experience of consultation, negotiation and influencing with different stakeholders, including staff and staff representatives.
  • Experience of workforce planning in an environment of comparable complexity.
  • Leading the workforce and organisational development function and developing and implementing sound workforce and employee relations strategies, policies and procedures.
  • Building personal and professional credibility with Board, management teams and staff.
  • Demonstrable experience of championing inclusion and leading the implementation of successful initiatives to improve equality and diversity in the workforce.
  • Experience of working across professional and organisational boundaries, and in partnership with a wide range of key stakeholders.


  • Experience in managing workforce issues arising from significant structural re-organisation or service change.
  • Experience of working at Board level.



  • Awareness of the current NHS policy context, financial regime and workforce issues and of NHS working practices.
  • Excellent knowledge of UK employment legislation, including complex issues such as TUPE.
  • Highly developed leadership, negotiation and influencing skills with the ability to motivate, challenge and engage individuals and teams.


  • Detailed knowledge of developments within the healthcare environment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the local and specialist healthcare priorities and environment.
  • Understanding of the policy development and future strategy of the wider NHS.



  • Ability to communicate directly to individuals at all levels both within the Trust and across partner organisations.
  • Ability to set out a clear strategic direction, inspire others and assume command, together with an ability to translate strategic objectives into deliverable operational plans.
  • Able to lead complex and sometimes contentious change and transformation.
  • Experience and success in addressing discrimination and inequalities.
  • Ability to develop effective working relationships with key partners and influence a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to bring about positive system-wide change.
  • Ability to contribute to effective board working and organisation, monitor compliance with risk management, legal, ethical, clinical, social and environmental requirements.



  • Ability to self-manage within a complex environment, anticipating and dealing with adversity and opportunity effectively.
  • Invests sustained effort in making a significant impact on improvement within the organisation.
  • A sense of integrity underpinned by a belief in a set of values which demonstrate commitment to the organisation.
  • Acts as a role model for organisational values and collaborative working.
  • Self-awareness, including strengths, limitations and personal impact on others.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to the Trust, an executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

We are currently accepting applications for the role. Closing date is Friday 23 June 2023.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of three pages) outlining how you meet the essential experience criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include details of two referees in either your CV or covering letter, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please also include details of your current salary, notice period and minimum salary expectation for the role.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact Helene Usherwood on +44 (0)7719 322 669 or