Leading contenders drop out of race for top HR post at DoH

The intrigue surrounding who will replace Andrew Foster as workforce director at the Department of Health (DoH) has grown, with several leading candidates appearing to rule themselves out of the race.

Foster, who left the department last week after five years, starts his new job as HR director at Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust today (Tuesday).

DoH sources told Personnel Today that Nic Greenfield, Foster’s current deputy, had decided not to apply. Sian Thomas, deputy director at NHS Employers, has also ruled herself out, preferring to stay with the employers’ organisation. Steve Barnett, director of NHS Employers, also seemed to distance himself from the role, saying he hoped to continue good relations with the new workforce director.

Sources at the conference said the DoH would prefer someone with previous experience at an NHS trust now working within the department.

That would put Dean Royles, the department’s head of HR capacity and employment, in the frame. The closing date for applicants for the £130,000-a-year job is this Friday.

Foster would not be drawn on who he thought should be his successor. “The challenge [for my successor] will be to create a new workforce strategy that fits in with the government’s new vision of the NHS,” he said.

For more on the race to replace Foster, click here

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