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.

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