Director of Sustainable Development Unit

Executives / VSM: Executives / VSM

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Executives / VSM: Executives / VSM
18 Months Fixed Term Contract
Full Time 37.5 hours per week
Job ref
£113,000 per annum
Today at 23:59

NHS England leads the National Health Service (NHS) in England. We set the priorities and direction of the NHS and encourage and inform the national debate to improve health and care.

We want everyone to have greater control of their health and their wellbeing, and to be supported to live longer, healthier lives by high quality health and care services that are compassionate, inclusive and constantly-improving.

NHS England shares out more than £100 billion in funds and holds organisations to account for spending this money effectively for patients and efficiently for the tax payer. A lot of the work we do involves the commissioning of health care services in England. We commission the contracts for GPs, pharmacists, and dentists and we support local health services that are led by groups of GPs called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). CCGs plan and pay for local services such as hospitals and ambulance services.

We have devised a strategic vision for the NHS, along with our partners in health, called the Five Year Forward View. And now, with our partners, we are delivering that vision. This vision shows that we are getting serious about prevention, identifying and delivering improvements in health care, redesigning the NHS so it continues to meet the needs of patients, ensuring the NHS is financially sustainable and engaging the public in this whole process.

We strongly believe in health and high quality care for all, now and for future generations.

Please note, if the advertised role is based in London on an Agenda for Change Pay Band, it will attract a High Cost Area Supplement. If this post is an Executive or Senior Manager (ESM) role or Medical Leader position this supplement is not applicable.

This post leads the NHS/PHE Sustainable Development Unit for England hosted by NHS England on behalf of the wider system.


The Director leads and co-ordinates a programme of work to reducing the harmful environmental impact of the health system and ensuring its contribution to sustainable development as an exemplar public sector body.


The Director should ensure the Unit’s work is aligned with and supports other work across the health system to improve the sustainability of NHS operations (environmentally, socially, clinically, financially and economically), including the delivery of the Next Steps of the Five Year Forward View. The aim is to improve patient outcomes, enhance patient experience, protect and improve public health, and align financial and environmental sustainability of the health system in England. 


The Director has responsibility for ensuring organisations and people have access to tools, can shape policy, and can generate and use research which enables the sector to adapt to, and mitigate climate change, improving health for current and future generations within available resources.


The sustainable Development Unit (SDU) is a national unit based in Cambridge working on behalf of the health and care system in England. It was established in April 2008. The team supports the NHS, public health and social care to embed the three elements of sustainable development - environmental, social and financial. It leads on the implementation of the 2009 Carbon Reduction Strategy and the successor 2014 Sustainable Development Strategy for the health and social care system


The SDU is jointly funded by, and accountable to, NHS England and Public Health England to ensure that the health and care system fulfils its potential as a leading sustainable and low carbon service. More broadly its work addresses the future needs of society and the health system including adaptation of health services, developing more sustainable models of care and tackling the wider determinants of health.

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