Council seeks recruit for dual role in town hall and NHS trust

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is to create a new head of HR role, responsible for both the council and the local primary care trust (PCT).

The council said the move – thought to be the first of its kind in England – is aimed at improving efficiency across the two organisations and developing service delivery for residents.

It plans to advertise the £100,000-plus role in the next few weeks, and hopes to have someone in place early next year, according to Martin Smith, the council’s director of resources.

“[The council] has a very strong partnership with the PCT and we are increasingly undertaking joint projects,” he said.

“There are already situations where PCT employees delivering front-line services are managed by council staff. We believe there are economies of scale to be achieved by working together.”

The new role will be responsible for the council’s 10,000 workers and about 1,300 employees working for the PCT.

The new recruit will manage an HR team of about 180 people across the two organisations and will report directly to Smith.

He said it was inevitable that the two functions would merge at some point in the future and would not rule out the possibility of job losses. “If we can find more efficient ways of doing things then we will look at them,” he said.

The ideal candidate would be an experienced public sector professional able to provide top-quality HR, strategic thinking and tenacity, Smith said.

“I wouldn’t want to rule out candidates from the private sector but I feel we are probably biased to someone with fairly extensive public sector experience,” he said.

The changes are not expected to realise any significant cost savings initially, but would provide better value for money for residents, Smith insisted.

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