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Senior Communications and Strategy Manager

University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust
£50,952 to £57,349 a year
Closing date
22 Jul 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 8A
Full Time
Health Innovation Wessex (HIW) is delighted to offer a fantastic opportunity to work with us.

Please see below for a detailed job description of the role.

Main duties of the job

At Health Innovation Wessex we improve people's health, achieve excellence in healthcare and boost innovation and growth in our region's life sciences and healthcare sector.

We are looking for a skilled communications professional to join our small team for 12 months to cover maternity leave, delivering across a broad remit in health and care's innovation landscape. You'll draw on your significant corporate and strategic experience and specialist knowledge to address communications challenges and opportunities with innovative solutions. You'll have extensive experience in preparing, implementing and evaluating effective communications and engagement strategies and plans for a range of programmes involving different stakeholder groups.

We are an ambitious organisation, looking for passionate and motivated people to join us with a proven track record of delivery. You will need tenacity to succeed, great communication and project management skills, an ability to build new relationships quickly, and the capability to use influencing and negotiating skills to develop understanding and gain cooperation. We welcome applications from people with a wide range of past experiences and networks - an appreciation of the challenges involved with communications and transformation in the NHS is an advantage to succeed in this role. Applications for secondment are welcomed.

About us

Health Innovation Wessex (HIW) is a company limited by guarantee, owned by the NHS and University Members with staff hosted by University Hospital Southampton.

Based at Southampton Science Park in Chilworth in a bright modern office easily accessible from the M3, M27 and Southampton Parkway train station, the location offers free parking with a caf area and networking spaces on site. 27 acres of the Science Park site are designated a protected Conservation Area and open to staff.

We are keen to ensure that staff enjoy a successful work/life balance and offer flexible working dependent on the requirements of the role. Our hybrid working framework provides for in a minimum of 2 days in office or out visiting partners/stakeholders and home working aligned to business needs. Health Innovation Wessex endorses personal development and provides training allowances to help you deliver in the role and meet your career and organisational goals.

We also have a proactive approach to wellbeing in line with our core values of being Innovative, Inclusive and Collaborative, with staff engagement groups shaping the organisation's culture and driving initiatives to allow our people to flourish despite times of challenge, change and high demand.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Main Responsibility

The successful postholder will lead and manage several complex communications projects, lead the communications strategy for Health Innovation Wessex, and lead varied operational aspects of the communications teams delivery. You will work across the organisation in a matrix manner working beyond the remit of communications and often leading strategic areas of work for Health Innovation Wessex and contributing to the objectives of the national Health Innovation Network and its commissions.

General Duties
  • To take a leading role in the running of the Health Innovation Wessex communications function, with clear accountability and responsibilities for relationships, communications strategies, plans and delivery for assigned work portfolios and projects. This includes the project management of specialist communications activities to support the spread and adoption of innovation into the local NHS system, requiring strategic and sensitive decision-making, autonomous working and sound reasoning all of which supports the overall strategic objectives of Health Innovation Wessex.
  • The role is the formal deputy to the HIWs Associate Director (AD) for Communications, which includes managing and evaluating communications projects and campaigns managing the communications function in the ADs absence and providing advice and guidance to all HIW staff, including the executive team and other senior managers, clinicians and academics in their work at/with HIW.
  • Shape, deliver and support the ongoing communications strategy and digital communications projects for Health Innovation Wessex advising on engagement with partners, members, stakeholders, innovators, national commissioners and other organisations to underpin the organisations business (innovation) spread and adoption objectives. This includes planning and organising team activity with an appreciation of longer-term issues and workloads ensuring plans complement and feed into broader operational plans and organisational strategic aims.

For additional information, please refer to the job description and person specification.

Person Specification

Qualifications / training required


  • Degree in English, Marketing, Communications or Business Studies or relevant HND, Degree, NVQ4 or first level professional qualification (or equivalent qualification or experience).
  • Educated to degree level with a postgraduate qualification in either: journalism, marketing, public relations or related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Significant experience across the entire communications, marketing, and engagement mix highly skilled in various professional communication specialities.
  • Evidence of post qualifying and continuing professional development.


  • Website Management Training and Qualifications

Previous or relevant experience necessary


  • Able to draw upon significant communications, corporate and strategic experience to generate original ideas and innovative solutions, where precedents may not exist, through the provision of appropriate in-depth specialist, or broad management, knowledge, and advice
  • Excellent copywriting and editing skills, with experience in deployment across the digital marketing mix
  • Extensive experience of preparing, implementing, and evaluating effective communications and engagement plans for a range of projects/campaigns with tangible examples of successful delivery.
  • Extensive experience of preparing, implementing, and evaluating effective communications and engagement plans for a range of projects/campaigns with tangible examples of successful delivery.
  • Experience of leading junior staff, including delegation, support, direction, and general management techniques.
  • Experience of managing complex media enquiries.
  • Significant experience of successfully operating in a politically sensitive environment.


  • Proven experience of the unique interface health innovation networks hold between the NHS, academia, research, and small to medium-sized innovative businesses.
  • Proven experience of the unique interface health innovation networks hold between the NHS, academia, research, and small to medium-sized innovative businesses.
  • Good knowledge of local suppliers.
  • Experience of recruiting and retaining communication staff and teams.
  • Evidence of ongoing professional development.

Values and behaviours


  • Able to demonstrate behaviours that meet the Trust Values. Patients First, Always Improving, Working Together.
  • Able to demonstrate behaviours that meet Health Innovation Wessex values. Innovative, Inclusive, Collaborative, Achieving, Trustworthy

Employer details

Employer name

University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust


Innovation Centre, Science Park

2 Venture Road


SO16 7NP

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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