New NHS England Transformation Directorate: filling of posts implementation process

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The challenge


Merger and efficiencies: This major transition programme followed the merging of NHS England, Health Education England and NHS Digital, and the requirement to make circa 30-40% efficiencies.

Staffing restructure: The filling of posts implementation (FOPI) process followed aimed to achieve a smooth transition through the effective movement of functions and staff to the new NHSE organisation.

The Transformation Directorate (TD) has approximately 5,000 staff across 10 sub-directorates and digital teams.

NECS assignment:

NECS was commissioned to support Stage 1 and Stage 3.1 elements of the FOPI process.

Stage 1: Staff preferencing and slotting into roles within the new structure.

Stage 3.1: Supported individuals at risk of redundancy who hadn’t secured a role in the process, to find suitable alternative employment across NHS England.

Our response

NECS was instrumental in providing a robust central support function for implementation leads, HR Business Partners and the wider Directorate through effectively collaborating with stakeholders in those areas and the NHS England redeployment team.

During Stage 1, NECS coordinated slotting-in panels, established Directorate level guidance and communication, and designed and managed the TD appeals process.

NECS designed the Directorate level process for Stage 3.1 and managed the delivery of the complex TD process – from sourcing vacancy registration information, through to phase 1 of staff role allocations within the new structure.

Significant stakeholder engagement, effective communication and attention to detail within a complex and changing environment enabled numerous deadlines within very short timeframes to be successfully met, which was fundamental in supporting the PMO functions of the programme.

NECS also provided management of a significant number of staff queries through a central inbox.

A group of people standing in a square holding pieces of white jigsaw trying to fit them together


  • Successfully supported the programme team with completing the Stage 1 slotting in panel and appeal processes. This involved stakeholder engagement across sub-directorates and at a very senior level. 3,500 individuals were allocated roles and over 120 appeals were handled.
  • Design and delivery of the Stage 3.1 process for TD. Coordinated over 980 vacancies across 10 sub-directorates / digital teams and 44 ‘pools’ of roles (registration, shortlisting, >250 interviews, moderation, Foundry uploads, phase 1 allocations, the appeal process), developed and delivered communication materials, provided guidance, liaised with the Central Team, responded to urgent requests and shared key updates at task and finish groups, stand up and board meetings. 
  • Programme Director and Implementation team provided with key updates to enable and track effective project delivery. Established and led updates at Task and Finish groups. Provided updates at stand up, risk and project board meetings.


“The arrival of the NECS team was hugely welcomed by the Transformation Directorate Design and Implementation Leads and HR Business Partners. This was a complicated and sensitive process that required consistent engagement and painstaking attention to detail which was met admirably by the team. Despite coming to a programme well after it had been started, the team quickly established itself and gained control of the activities.”

Mike Lewis

Deputy Director Operations Delivery, Data and Analytics Directorate, NHS England