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Job summary

Main area
Civil Service: Grade 7
37.5 hours per week (Less than full time considered)
Job ref
Public Health England
Employer type
Public (Non NHS)
Waterfront 4, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Newcastle Upon Tyne
£48,859 - £58,769 per annum
Salary period
22/04/2021 23:59

Employer heading

Public Health England logo

COVID-19 Vacancy Public Health Specialist (Specialised Commissioning)

Civil Service: Grade 7

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care providing; strategic leadership, research, advice and support for Government, local authorities and the NHS in protecting and improving the nation’s health

This is a Non Reserved post under the Civil Service Nationality Rules and is therefore open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals and certain non EEA members. For more information please refer to the supporting documents detailing the Civil Service Nationality Rules.

  • For posts on PHE Civil Service terms and conditions, on appointment the salary is normally the minimum point (see salary range above). This will be dependent on the successful candidate’s current salary and terms and/or equivalent experience. The Civil Service pay structure and progression is different from NHS Agenda for Change, most local authority pay grades and other systems that have annual pay increments. Please see attached an information sheet explaining starting salaries and benefits when joining PHE.
  • For clinically ringfenced AfC or Medical/Dental posts, you must obtain the correct professional registration to be appointed. The pay will follow the AfC or Medical & Dental terms & conditions. You may be asked to provide evidence on previous service whilst we are conducting pre-employment checks to determine starting salaries.

Any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

Temporary Appointments: If you are external to the Civil Service, you will take up the post on a Fixed Term appointment, if you are an existing Civil Servant, based outside of PHE, you will take up the post as a loan and if you are an existing PHE member of staff, you will take up the post as either a level transfer or a temporary promotion as per PHE’s Pay and Grading policy. If you are an existing Civil Servant, (in PHE or elsewhere) you must have prior agreement from your Line Manager before applying for this post.

Given the nature of the work of PHE, as a Category 1 department, you may be required in an emergency, if deemed a necessity, to redeploy to another role at short notice. You may also be required to work at any other location, within reasonable travelling distance of your permanent home address, in line with the provisions set out in your contract of employment.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: PHE website    

On 18 August 2020, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced plans to establish the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and consult on the best future options for strengthening health improvement and other public health functions in the wider system. Public Health England and many of its employees will be in scope for transition to new organisations in Spring 2021. Any new or current employees working for Public Health England during this time, will receive appropriate communications and consultation prior to any formal transfer taking place.  Employees who compulsorily transfer to successor bodies will remain on their existing contractual terms and conditions and this applies both to current employees and those recruited during the transition.  The recruitment, growth & development of our workforce is vital for the continuing success of PHE and the future UK Health Security Agency UKHSA.

To be eligible for employment in the UK Civil Service applicants must meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules (CSNRs) which operate independently and additionally to the Immigration Rules. Applicants must also meet necessary security and vetting requirements, along with any other relevant pre-employment checks.

As from 1 January 2021 broadly the following groups may be eligible to work in non-reserved posts within the Civil Service:

  •        UK nationals
  •        Nationals of Commonwealth countries
  •        Nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  •        EEA nationals with (or eligible for) status under the EUSS
  •        Relevant EEA or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  •        Relevant EEA or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  •        Certain family members of the relevant EU & Turkish nationals

Recruitment teams may wish to include this in job adverts. We would suggest that CS job adverts also include a link to the CSNRs guidance on


Job overview

The Public Health Specialist (Specialised Commissioning) role will provide public health specialist advice to the North East and Yorkshire NHS England specialised commissioning team and other relevant stakeholders.

The role includes providing appropriate input to the annual commissioning cycle and ensuring health improvement is a key outcome of the process. The postholder will lead on core public health analytical or evaluation functions in relation to these services requiring complex data from different sources and negotiating conclusions in a challenging environment. There is a requirement to generate new knowledge and information through audit, evaluation and research.

Main duties of the job

The postholder is joining at a key stage in the restoration and recovery of NHS services as part of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Like all parts of the NHS infrastructure and services, specialised services are involved in a range of complex monitoring, service planning and policy formation activities in order to restore the NHS England specialised services to business as usual and understand and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its services, the health of the population, and in particular the social and structural determinants of health that may impact disparities and inequalities in COVID-19 incidence, treatment, morbidity and mortality.

Working for our organisation

Option 3 – External

Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants).

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

  • To provide public health specialist advice to the North East and Yorkshire NHSE specialised commissioning team and to other relevant stakeholders.
  • Undertake health needs assessment for specialised services for the portfolio of services across the region.
  • Provide advice to the specialised commissioning team and the bodies to which it is accountable on new technologies, new techniques and innovations in medicine and in the delivery and organisation of medical care in liaison with local and national bodies (e.g. NICE, London Cancer Drugs Group).
  • Analyse information about health needs, supply and performance of health care services from a population perspective and assisting the North East and Yorkshire specialised commissioning team in the monitoring and evaluation of health outcomes.
  • Lead and/contribute to service reviews, quality assurance and outcome measurement of specialised services. This will involve facilitating the implementation of national guidance.
  • Maintain close links and foster close relationships with clinicians and other professionals in specialised services, their patients/clients and relevant academic centres.
  • To lead on the development and implementation of programmes in specific areas to meet North East and Yorkshire specialised commissioning team objectives.
  • To design and deliver presentations to a wide variety of audiences using specialist knowledge to communicate complex and sometimes contentious issues in an appropriate and understandable way e.g. public meetings, consortium forums, public and patient groups.
  • To lead on research into public health issues on a regular basis as needs are identified e.g. population health needs mapping of health inequalities, incidence, prevalence and causes of conditions and, health care needs assessments in North East and Yorkshire region
  • To provide public health support to Individual Funding Requests
  • To actively contribute to PHE’s Public Health Specialised Commissioning Team including prioritising the work of the Directorate and responding to local and national developments to inform local policy and strategy development.
  • To lead on safety alerts identifying and quantifying areas of risk and working with relevant leads to action plan for improvement. Also to engage in performance improvement within the Team.
  • To represent and act on behalf of your line manager as required e.g. Management Team meetings.

Person specification


Essential criteria
  • Educated to degree level in a relevant subject, or equivalent experience
  • Education to Masters level in public health or related subject and evidence of continuing professional development post qualification.

Knowledge & Experience

Essential criteria
  • Proven project management skills and the ability to take a lead role in project management and development.
  • Experience of health strategy and policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience of partnership development with track record of achievement
  • Understanding of the public health environment in the NHS and partner organisations
  • Knowledge of determinants of health inequalities and key policies
  • Knowledge and understanding of commissioning and performance management
  • Understanding of epidemiology, statistics, qualitative and quantitative research
  • Experience of literature searching and evidence synthesis
Desirable criteria
  • Substantial experience of working in public health or equivalent area of work
  • Experience of change management processes
  • Leadership, management and development of multi-agency programmes.
  • Understanding of the development, use and interpretation of health indicators in public health and the NHS
  • An understanding of effective ways of working with targeted population groups
  • Understanding of techniques and applications of public health and healthcare intelligence including surveillance, needs assessment, audit and information support to commissioning
  • Experience of health data analyses
  • Understanding of public health practice, health promotion, health economics and health care evaluation
  • Understanding of local authorities and social services

Skills & Capabilities

Essential criteria
  • Ability to negotiate at a senior level both within and outside the organisation
  • Ability to analyse and synthesize complex information from a number of sources
  • Ability to communicate highly complex or sensitive statistical information to other specialists and non-specialists
  • Strong project management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to manage a diverse workload, working on own initiative, and able to prioritise between conflicting demands
  • Excellent IT skills including use of databases, statistical packages, word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentations packages
  • Ability to interpret and undertake epidemiological analysis
  • Strong analytical skills including the ability to analyse, interpret and present qualitative data
  • Skills in literature searching and critical appraisal of highly complex evidence, including searching the internet
  • Knowledge of statutory information governance and data confidentiality requirements and others relevant to public health data
  • Flexible approach to work, with the ability to deliver tasks at short notice
  • Able to make confident presentations to professional colleagues, Boards and other public bodies
Desirable criteria
  • Knowledge of routine sources of health data (e.g. hospital episode statistics, birth and death registrations) and data on determinants of health

Equality & Diversity

Essential criteria
  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems
Happy to Talk Flexible WorkingApprenticeships logoNo smoking policyMindful employer.  Being positive about mental health.Improving working livesAge positiveDisability confident employerThe Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) is the UK's leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace.

Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Dr Mark Lambert
Job title
Consultant in Specialised Commissioning
Email address
Additional information

For further information or an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Mark Lambert, Consultant in Specialised Commissioning, at

Apply online now