Communications and corporate affairs

As a communications and corporate affairs manager, you'll manage the reputation of your NHS organisation by communicating with a variety of people including the media, MPs and the general public.

As a manager in communications and corporate affairs, you’ll take a leading role in how your organisation interacts with its community and how it communicates with patients, staff and other interested groups, such as the media and local politicians.

Press interview

Each NHS organisation will have a communications lead to ensure that the organisation communicates effectively with its local community. Larger organisations may have a team of communications professionals.

NHS organisations have different structures and communications teams are often departments in their own right, with a communications director on the board. In other organisations communications may sit alongside other functions such as patient and public involvement, or within the corporate affairs department.

Working life

All communicators have a role in making information about their organisation accessible to patients, staff and the public, helping ensure that the service is accountable, and engaging these groups in the reforms that are taking place in the NHS and social care.

Management roles in communications and corporate affairs will vary, depending upon the trust/employer. Roles and responsibilities will also differ depending on seniority, and whether you work alone or within a team of other communications professionals.

Specific responsibilities could include:

  • managing the reputation of the organisation
  • developing, implementing and evaluating communications strategies
  • ensuring effective two-way internal communications
  • taking the lead on media handling, proactively placing good news stories, dealing with enquiries and producing media releases
  • developing links with stakeholders such as local councils and MPs
  • leading public relations, including customer services
  • playing a key role in issue management and planning
  • taking editorial responsibility for the organisation's website, and other corporate communications tools, such as social media
  • ensuring that other health organisations are kept fully briefed on developments, plans and any incidents in their organisation
  • commissioning printing/advertising/surveys
  • producing high quality patient information
  • managing the NHS corporate identity and taking local responsibility for the NHS brand
  • assisting in engaging patients and local communities with developments in their health services
  • advising senior colleagues on strategic communications and related issues
  • engaging in health promotion campaigns.

Want to learn more?

  • Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers.

    Your career in communications and corporate affairs in the NHS could start at bands 3 or 4 working as an assistant or officer. For roles in management, you’d typically start at Agenda for Change Band 6 or 7, with the most senior roles rising to Band 9 for example.

    Staff in the NHS will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern.

    Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.

  • With further training and/or experience, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for more senior managerial roles. Progression for those with ability is typically via operational management in a large hospital.

    Relocation for promotion is common.  More diverse routes in communications and corporate affairs management are now opening up, for example, jointly-funded posts between health and local authorities.

  • Job market

    NHS communicators work across all NHS organisations including NHS acute trusts, NHS ambulance trusts, NHS mental health trusts, clinical commissioning groups, commissioning support units and special health authorities. As health and social care services increasingly work together, some communications roles are developing to work across both NHS organisations and local authorities.

    Finding and applying for jobs

    When you’re looking for managerial jobs or apprenticeship vacancies, there are a number of sources you can use, depending on the type of and level of work you’re seeking. Most vacancies in organisations delivering NHS healthcare can be found on the NHS Jobs website. Some of the current vacancies in the NHS can be found below

     

    • View Vacancy

      Communications Lead

      Hackney, E8 3SG

      • Salary:

        Up to £25,000 pro rata

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        Turning Point

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Senior Communications Lead

      Imperial College Health Partners, London, NW1 2FB

      • Salary:

        £52,643 - £58,558 per annum inc.HCAS

      • Type:

        Fixed term

      • Employer:

        Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Communications & Engagement Manager

      ALDERSHOT, GU11 1AY

      • Salary:

        £38,890 to £44,503 pa

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        NHS Frimley CCG

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Communications and Engagement Manager

      HQ, Ynysmeurig House, Abercynon, CF45 4SN

      • Salary:

        £38,890 - £44,503 per annum

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Business Development and Communications Lead

      Remote, SE22 8EY

      • Salary:

        £25,000 to £30,000 plus bonus

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        Omnes Healthcare Limited

      • View Vacancy
    • View Vacancy

      Communications and Engagement Assistant

      Abercynon, CF45 4SN

      • Salary:

        £21,892 - £24,157 per annum

      • Type:

        Permanent

      • Employer:

        Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

      • View Vacancy
  • For further information about a career in communications and corporate affairs management, please contact

Other roles that may interest you

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve