Top job: Terry Coode, deputy director of personnel, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust

Terry Coode has recently moved to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Hospital Trust in
London, one of the largest acute teaching hospitals in the country.

He has previous public sector experience from local government, and joins
the NHS after more than 15 years in the financial services sector. Prior to his
appointment, he held a senior and wide-ranging HR role at Barclays.

What will be the duties in your new role?

I’m accountable for the trust’s operational personnel support and also lead
its contribution to modernisation, which is all about the delivery of patient

What do you hope to achieve in your role?

For the personnel function to be viewed by the organisation as a true and
active business partner in supporting success. I also want the team to enjoy
these challenges.

What’s the best thing about HR?

The breadth and diversity of what we do. Part of this is getting to know all
aspects of the business because people, and people issues, cut across all
organisational boundaries.

And the worst?

Constantly having to prioritise between competing demands and balancing
short-term needs against longer-term requirements.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

It must be an early morning preparatory meeting that took place by the
roadside with a mug of tea in one hand and a bacon roll in the other, on route
to a serious disciplinary case.

How do you think the role of HR will change over the next five years?

The existing trend will continue: HR administration will become less visible
due to automation and process re-engineering. Line management will be empowered
and equipped, as self-reliant people managers and HR specialists will be at the
heart of the business as either technical experts or business partners and

Who is the ultimate guru?

I’m a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh for his ‘keep things simple’ view of life.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

See answer to previous question.

What is your essential viewing?

I enjoy watching most sports. I also enjoy good comedy; anything that makes
me laugh because it feeds the essential HR attribute – a sense of humour.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Recognise that HR is a diverse discipline and sample as many aspects of it
as you can to broaden your experience and skills. I would also say that time in
a line management role gives a very useful insight.

How do you fill your spare time?


Coode’s CV

2003 Deputy director of personnel,
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust Hospital

2001 Head of infrastructure, employee relations and reward,

2000 Group HR manager, Woolwich

1999 Group services manager, Woolwich

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