NHS England is advertising for an “honest, open and transparent” individual to become its chief executive.

The advert for the job is published today on hsj.co.uk.

The full job description (attached) says the organisation is “looking for a track record of… delivery of transformational change in a consumer-focussed environment, building organisational capability in a challenging context [and] successful strategic financial oversight, with evidence of securing value for money and delivering more and better quality with less”.

NHS England requires “an inspirational and transformational leader” and “an incredibly skilled communicator, who can operate across a wide and complex set of stakeholders and draw others into our vision”, the description says.

Required “personal characteristics” include being “honest, open and transparent - with high levels of personal and professional integrity”.

The organisation is also seeking someone who “innovates and takes considered risks” and has “a relentless consumer focus”.

Sir David Nicholson has announced his intention to retire from the post by March.

The job description says: “The creation of NHS England allows politicians to step back from close involvement in day-to-day decision making in the NHS…

“Financial pressures will grow over the coming years, while consumer demand continues to increase. The NHS will need to change radically to meet the needs of an ageing population, and to keep pace with scientific and technological advances.

“We know that the quality of NHS services is variable - world class in some areas, unacceptable in others. It is our job to raise standards everywhere to be comparable with the best.”

It says “key considerations” for the new chief executive will include “delivery of government priorities and organisational commitments” and “development of NHS England as an exemplar organisation, which leads the way in setting the tone and culture in the wider NHS”.

NHS England chair Sir Malcolm Grant, who will lead the appointment process, underlined his determination to consider people from outside the UK and with no health service experience in an interview with HSJ last week.

He emphasised the role was different to that of NHS chief executive, to which Sir David was appointed in 2007.

Although “candidates will need to demonstrate their ability to have a grip”, he said, NHS England’s leaders “don’t have a responsibility for the provider side”. The NHS system now includes many “largely autonomous bodies over which our new chief executive will not have control”.

“So the new role, I would say, is one of advocacy, inspiration and leadership,” Sir Malcolm said. He said he hoped to shortlist candidates in September or October and appoint shortly after.