Nick Carver, chief executive of East and North Hertfordshire Trust, explains how the role of chief operating officer will inspire the operational and clinical teams to make changes in the pathways and services of the organisation

This Q&A is sponsored by East and North Hertfordshire Trust. For further information, please contact Moira Johnston or Melanie West at the NHS Leadership Academy on 0113 322 5672. To apply, please email your CV and supporting statement to The closing date for applications is 9:00 am Monday 19th February 2018.

After initially working as a hospital porter, Nick qualified as a registered nurse before developing his interest in health service management. In addition to his registered general nurse qualification, he holds a BA (Hons) in political theory and government, as well as an MSc in health care management.

Nick was appointed as chief executive in November 2002, having previously been chief executive of the George Eliot Hospital Trust in Warwickshire, prior to which he held senior roles in the West Country and South Wales. He has led the East and North Hertfordshire Trust through major service change and delivered public and political support for a major reconfiguration of hospital services that delivered substantial quality and financial benefit to the local health economy.

In 2013, Nick was presented with the Inspirational Leader of the Year award by Health Education, East of England. Nick is passionately committed to leadership development and is the chief executive lead for the widely praised Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Aspiring Directors Development Scheme and also chairs the Midlands and East Regional Talent Board.

Chief operating officer

The trust is looking to recruit a leading chief operating officer to help us transform our services to make them more efficient and effective, whilst supporting our staff in maintaining high quality care for our patients at all times. The right candidate will inspire our operational and clinical teams to make changes to our pathways and services that will help us realise our ambition to become amongst the best performing NHS trusts in the country. Whilst that strategic vision will be essential, our next chief operating officer also has to be able to keep a firm grip on day-to-day operational performance.

Why this job?

Over my career in the NHS, I’ve worked with some fantastic people and together we have been able to make a real difference for both our patients and the staff in our organisations. Since my appointment in 2002, this has continued and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the calibre and dedication of the staff at the East and North Hertfordshire Trust, and at the executive and board level we’ve got a strong and dedicated team. We’re ambitious and optimistic for the future as we look at how things can be done differently.

The chief operating officer is a high profile, challenging and vital role in any organisation and the East and North Hertfordshire Trust is no different. This is an outstanding opportunity to lead our operational divisions and play a pivotal role on the board during a period of change and innovation. As well as managing the day to day operational performance of the trust’s frontline services you will also be developing longer term strategy to transform services through close working with the executive team and system partners. The successful applicant will be progressive and innovative, with a genuine desire to be part of our strong and ambitious team that’s transforming the way in which we deliver care.

A high calibre operations leader can really make their mark here and they’d be joining a committed executive team at a time when we are making inroads in turning round our operational performance standards and finances. We are looking for the right person, someone who will do so much more than maintain the status quo. After many years of stability we have recently recruited both a new director of nursing and medical director, so this is a really exciting time to join an energised team.

Why this trust?

The East and North Hertfordshire Trust is a fantastic organisation but like so many other trusts in today’s NHS we’ve got our challenges. Despite those challenges, all the ingredients are here to develop into an outstanding healthcare organisation. Over the last five years the trust has undergone significant investment both in terms of our infrastructure and more. We’ve got high quality facilities, low vacancy levels even in some of the hard to recruit areas, and a team with a passion for giving our patients great care. Our drive to innovate and improve services, along with a commitment to collaboration, will enable the trust to make a positive difference to the lives of the people we serve.

The trust has a great culture – it is full of extremely dedicated people who really want to do their best for patients. This makes it a fantastic place to work. This culture extends to the board and the executive team, which is very important when the team is, as elsewhere, frequently operating under pressure. We have a clear vision about what it is we are trying to achieve over the next few years, and this role will be key in helping us achieve it.

How will this role advance your career?

Operationally, you will come on a journey of improving patient care, keeping a clear line of sight from board to ward and ward to board. This will provide a career-defining opportunity to work across acute and specialist services, in an encouraging and compassionate environment, with an executive team that is driven to deliver change and transformation for our patients.

We have a track record of recruiting some of the best and brightest as directors into this organisation, a number of whom have flourished to then progress to become chief executives elsewhere in the NHS. I see it as my core responsibility to de-risk the environment for my team and to help individual directors develop to their full potential and strive for even greater success and future promotion whether that be inside or outside of the trust – this is something I feel passionately about.

To find out more about the role and apply click here - HSJ Jobs