Leader sought for coronavirus data and analysis unit

Written by Beckie Smith on 29 March 2021 in News

Role as director general of Joint Biosecurity Centre offers £130k salary

Credit: Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay 

The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking a director general to take on the “challenge of a lifetime” leading the work of the Joint Biosecurity Centre once it is absorbed into the new UK Health Security Agency.

DHSC is offering up to £130,000 to a senior leader with a “track record of delivering complex programmes of data-driven transformation” who will lead the analytical, surveillance and data functions delivered by the JBC.

The centre, which was set up last year as part of the government’s response to Covid-19, analyses a range of data to determine coronavirus response and to set the alert levels that inform the government’s regulatory response, including lockdown measures.

It provides analysis of data from NHS Test and Trace, of which it is part, as well as mobile data tracking people’s movements to identify coronavirus hotspots, and has set up a virtual statistical-modelling and machine-learning lab with the Royal Statistical Society and The Alan Turing Institute.

Related content

Clare Gardiner, director of national resilience and strategy at the National Cyber Security Centre, has been seconded to the DG role since last June. She took over from Office for Security and Counter Terrorism director general Tom Hurd, who led the work to set up the JBC at the beginning of the pandemic.

The successful candidate will become part of the leadership team at UKHSA, which was previously known as the National Institute for Health Protection, and which will launch next month. The job ad comes after DHSC announced deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries would become chief executive of the new health body, replacing interim executive chair Baroness Dido Harding.

As part of UKHSA, the JBC will “put the full power of health and non-health data in the hands of those who need it by enabling efficient, innovative and safe sharing across the public health ecosystem”, according to the candidate pack for the role.

It will also “help realise an ambitious programme of transformation to deliver scalable, sustainable IT platforms for data operations and analytics, including supporting rapid adoption of new analytical techniques”.

And it will bring together best practice and knowledge from the public, private and academic sectors.

The successful candidate will be a “creative thinker and influential collaborator” with impressive intellect and political acumen, according to the job pack.

“You will take a collaborative approach to leadership and be innovative and entrepreneurial, seeking out and bringing fresh perspectives to the role and organisation,” it adds.

The job also calls for someone who can “candour and make finely balanced judgements about risk in order to provide the best possible advice” to ministers and other officials, it says.

“As one of the key members of the UKHSA’s collective leadership team, you will be right at the heart of our ambitious agenda to help the government and the country get back to a more normal way of life beyond Covid-19 and establish itself for the long term to protect us from other known, and as yet unknown, threats,” the job advert says.

While the centre’s initial focus will be on tackling the coronavirus pandemic, in future it will work to combat a range of health threats.

The director general job is “one of the most exciting analytical leadership roles in the country”, according to the job ad, which goes on: “If you are up for the challenge of a lifetime, are experienced in dealing with data and analytics, and are a strong people leader with the confidence and credibility to interact with a range of stakeholders, including the chief medical officer, ministers and key specialist groups such as SAGE, then we look forward to hearing from you.”


About the author

Beckie Smith is acting deputy editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @Beckie__Smith.

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Related Sponsored Articles

Avoid Infrastructure Paralysis: Six benefits of moving legacy Oracle workloads to the cloud
6 April 2021

There are many reasons to keep your Oracle workloads running on local servers. But there are even more reasons to move them to the cloud as part of a wider digital transition strategy. Six Degrees...

Tackling vaccination misinformation with local government communications
9 March 2021

As misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine spreads, Granicus outlines key considerations for local government when delivering a successful vaccine communications campaign 

Optimising the Benefits of Hybrid IT
7 April 2021

SolarWinds explains how public sector organisations can make the most of their hybrid IT investments - delivering services that are both innovative and reliable 

Human Centric Process Management: The common base for digital transformation, cost savings, compliance and agility
11 March 2021

Engage Process explains how to ensure that process remains at the heart of your management programs - and how to keep undue pressure from those processes