Paula Clark, chief executive of University Hospitals of North Midlands, explains why the role of the organisation’s chief operating officer is for a high calibre leader ready to make their mark.

This Q&A is sponsored by University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust, which is recruiting for a chief operating officer.

For more details, please contact Moira Johnston or Melanie West at the NHS Leadership Academy on 0113 322 5672.

Over my past three decades in the NHS I’ve worked with some great people and together we’ve been able to make a real difference for both our patients and the staff in our organisations. Since I arrived at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust a year ago, this has continued and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the calibre of the staff here and at the executive and board level we’ve got a strong and dedicated team. 

I believe UHNM 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. We’ve got state of the art 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. 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 truly making inroads in turning round our performance and finances.

Why this post?

This role is an outstanding opportunity to lead change at one of the country’s biggest trusts with some of the most modern facilities in the country. The chief operating officer is a high profile, challenging and vital role in any organisation and UHNM is no different. 

We’ve recently redrawn our vision, values and strategic objectives so our new chief operating officer will work with colleagues to instil these into the organisation under the banner of Proud to 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. More specifically, the chief operating officer will be an inspirational leader for our clinical divisions and play a pivotal role on the board as an executive director.

This role will be central to managing both day to day operational performance of the trust’s frontline clinical services and developing longer term strategy to transform services through close working with the executive team and our commissioners. In addition, this leader will be key to the financial sustainability of the organisation.

The North Midlands is a lovely place to live and work, with glorious countryside, and easy access to Manchester, London and Birmingham. It is only a 40 minute morning commute from the heart of the Peak District National Park to the east, the tranquil Cheshire plain to the north, the rolling hills of Shropshire to the west and Staffordshire, an area of outstanding beauty to the south. Stoke-on-Trent also has excellent rail links on the West Coast Mainline.

Why this trust?

University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust was created on 1 November 2014 following the integration of University Hospital of North Staffordshire with parts of the former Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust Stafford Hospital. 

It’s a big organisation with over 10,000 staff but it still manages to keep that feeling of family. We are a busy trust, each year we care for over 1 million people who come to us for emergency treatment, planned operations, specialist services and medical care. Our total reach for specialised services covers 3 million people.

Royal Stoke University Hospital, rebuilt in 2011, is the trust’s main hospital with 1,250 beds, one of the largest hospitals in the country. Demand for services at the trust is increasing and over the last 12 months the number of patients choosing the trust for their treatment and care has remained high. In response, we have expanded facilities and services to meet this demand and more developments are ready to roll. 

We are the best performing trauma centre in England in terms of survival rates and we run nationally acclaimed services among which are cardiac, stroke, bariatric surgery, MS and neuro. We have an award winning service for older people, having pioneered the fight against deconditioning and a children’s hospital board to focus on services for our youngest patients.  

We are a teaching hospital in partnership with Keele University and Staffordshire University and we have a patient centred clinical research facility providing state of the art facilities. Part of our vision is to create a trust where clinicians nationally and internationally want to learn work and research.

How will the role advance the candidate’s career?

Given the size and scale of UHNM, this role is one of the top operational management posts in the NHS. Making your mark at the trust is a great opportunity for taking your career towards the next level, be that into a CEO role or a national regulator or policy post. 

For an informal conversation, please contact Moira Johnston or Melanie West at the NHS Leadership Academy on 0113 322 5672 or see our advert on HSJ Jobs for further details