NHS embraces flexible working with new role

As the nation’s biggest employer the NHS decision to appoint a head of flexible working sends a powerful signal.


The nation’s biggest employer has moved to embrace flexible working.

The NHS, which employs over a million people, has appointed a new ‘head of flexible working’.

Given the nature of the work, many roles in the NHS already encompass an element of flexibility. However it has the potential to normalise the principle of flexible work and send a powerful signal to other employers. Campaigners have welcomed the new role.

Flexible working in the NHS

Jane Galloway, deputy director at the NHS London Leadership Academy, is the new ‘head of flexible working’.

She reports to a “head of improving people practices”. The changes are to encourage part-time work and other forms of flexible working in the health service.

The appointment follows warnings about staffing shortages in the NHS and increasing stress. One of the big challenges is finding ways to make frontline roles more flexible. It was only earlier this year that the NHS took steps to allow doctors to take Shared Parental Leave.

Campaigner Kate Jarman, co-founder of FlexNHS, welcomed the new role. “It’s fantastic to see NHS England appoint a head of flexible working to coordinate efforts across the service to improve working lives for the 1.5 million people working in the NHS. There is much to be done nationally in equalising policy approaches to flexible working and ensuring all staff have equity of access to flexibility at work. We have been working with Jane – who is a passionate advocate for flexible working in all its forms – and look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.”

Creating opportunities

Jane is a qualified executive coach and the founder and director of Quiet the Hive.

She has around 20 years of experience of working in the NHS. She says she is passionate about supporting and encouraging people to make the NHS “efficient, effective and sustainable”.

At the London Leadership Academy, her job involves “creating opportunities, provoking thought and supporting individuals and organisations to take the time and space they need to be their best selves”.

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