Desirable - CharityJob

Head of Support Services (Temporary)
Job Description and Person Specification
Brain tumours in the UK: the facts
 Brain tumours are the most common cause of cancer deaths in children and adults under 40.
 8,500 people are registered with a primary brain tumour each year.
 500 children and teenagers are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.
Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (SDBTT) is the largest brain tumour charity in the UK and last year raised
over £1.8 million. We have been working to improve understanding, diagnosis and treatment of both childhood
and adult brain tumours since we were established in 1996. Our work has three key strands:
1) Research: We spend around £1 million per year funding top quality scientific and clinical research into
childhood and adult brain tumours, making us the leading dedicated brain tumour research funder in the UK.
2) Support: We run a dedicated helpline and series of patient information days to provide compassionate,
confidential and accurate support and information for anyone living with, or affected by, a brain tumour
including patients, family members, carers or friends.
3) Campaigning and awareness raising: Our campaigning and awareness-raising work has seen many
successes including the launch of our ‘Manifesto for Everyone Affected by a Brain Tumour’, which calls for the
implementation of the Improving Outcomes Guidance and HeadSmart, a UK-wide campaign to raise
awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people.
SDBTT’s Patient Support Service provides emotional, practical support and advocacy for brain tumour patients,
families and carers often during distressing times following diagnosis and ongoing treatment. We currently
provide support to anyone affected by a brain tumour through our helpline, face-to-face and online. Over the next
year we wish to significantly develop our Support Service.
This is a strategic and pivotal role that is responsible for leading the development and delivery of a high quality
patient support and accredited information service to anyone affected by brain tumours tailored to their individual
needs. The post holder will also review, develop and implement a patient support and information strategy to
ensure that patients can access to consistent, high quality accredited information and support on and offline. It is
also crucial to the development that the role develops, agrees and implements a plan to raise awareness and
credibility of SDBTT’s work with health care professionals.
Direct Reports:
Helpline and Information Officer
Education Manager
Job Description
1. Developing, agreeing and implementing, effective outreach strategies to encourage more brain tumour
patients and their families and carers to access our services.
2. Ensuring the development of specialised brain tumour support for high grade tumours, low grade tumours,
children with brain tumours and support groups.
3. Significantly developing our on-line presence and interaction in terms of support and information for and with
those affected by brain tumours.
4. Providing an advocacy role on behalf of patients with government, health professionals and other interested
5. Reviewing, assessing and co-ordinating the development of up-to-date quality of patient information,
accredited where relevant
6. Defining, monitoring and championing quality standards (accredited where relevant) in support and
information across SDBTT
7. Ensuring that support information and guidance is disseminated effectively both off and on-line
8. Keeping up to date with health and welfare developments and issues relating to people living with a brain
tumour; sharing best practice and knowledge in a timely manner across the organisation
9. Line managing, supervising and appraising all Support staff, developing the team and volunteers as
10. Represent SDBTT with external stakeholders and the wider brain tumour community, building constructive
relationships to further our work
11. Developing a referral network with health professionals across the UK, attending relevant conferences,
seminars and events
12. Carrying a personal caseload of those affected by a brain tumour providing emotional support and information
to them in times of need
13. Enhancing and implementing Helpline policy, procedures and best practice guidelines
14. Ensuring accurate records are kept for auditing and funding purposes and that accurate contact information is
maintained on charity’s CRM database.
£35,000 – £40,000 depending on experience
Head Office, Yateley, Hampshire, moving to Farnborough in April 2012
Full time post, 35 hours, 9am-5pm with some out of office hours work required. No overtime
payments are made but time off in lieu should be arranged with your line manager
Person Specification
Educated to degree standard (preferably in a related subject)
Proven experience of working in the health and/or social care fields
for a minimum of five years
Proven experience of line management with a health or social care
background for a minimum of two years
Proven experience and understanding of on-line communication
and data management, analysis and evaluation to meet service
Experience of working in a charity
Experience of managing financial budgets.
A good understanding of cancer services across the NHS
Proven up to date knowledge in best practice in patient support
Higher degree
Counselling, advice work or advocacy skills
Experience of developing a high quality
support service in the voluntary sector
Experience of operating in a medical or
bereavement setting
Science/medical background an advantage
Experience of managing a small team
Proven knowledge of health, cancer or
brain tumours an advantage
Knowledge/understanding of patient/carer
welfare rights an advantage
Skills and Abilities
Proven ability to review and create information and content as well
as identifying gaps in provision
Confident written and spoken communication skills with proven
highly developed listening skills
Proven strong interpersonal skills and the ability to show empathy
and understanding to individual patients and their families
Proven strong relationship-building skills
Ability to develop policies and strategies and to manage, monitor
and evaluate their implementation. Proven ability to monitor and
evaluate progress.
Ability to prioritise and work under pressure with good time
Fully IT literate and numerate with well developed organisational
and administrative skills
A deep empathy and understanding of our mission
A professional appearance and the social skills necessary to deal
with a range of stakeholders with the self confidence and stature to
support people affected by brain tumours at face to face support
events as well as to represent the charity at senior level.
Willingness to work flexibly and creatively and respond to the
emerging needs of the Patient Support Service and to travel
throughout the UK
Open mind, empathetic with a supportive and calm nature
Appreciation of confidentiality and diversity
A creative, lateral thinker and energetic team player with a high
level of enthusiasm and positivity.
Experience of working for a health / cancer