Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) is recruiting a director for lived experience who must have experiences of a life-altering health condition and “significant power imbalances” in their use of health services.
Its tsar will “ensure brave spaces” for people to give feedback and will be based at St George’s Hospital, Stafford, on a salary of £110,000-£115,000 per year – four times that of a newly qualified nurse or junior doctor.
They should also “seek out and heavily involve seldom heard, under-represented and/or disadvantaged groups” and be a “strategic bridge-builder”, a job advertisement says.
An NHS source said such power imbalances would include “feeling disempowered, vulnerable and that an individual’s own voice is lost” in using mental or physical secondary health services.
At least 20 ‘lived experience roles’
The trust claims it is the first such board-level position in the health service, but The Telegraph has identified at least 20 “lived experience” job titles across seven NHS trusts, being paid a total of at least £600,000.
On Friday night, the NHS was accused of “inventing problems and creating jobs to solve them”.
But Neil Carr, the MPFT chief executive, said: “For almost 10 years, MPFT has been leading the way in using the experience of people who use our services to improve them. We are proud to be continuing our tradition of co-production by using service users, carers and staff to develop and shape services at MPFT.”
Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, has warned that excess management had become a burden, with 53,000 people working in official health bodies where most provide no direct patient care and 400 bureaucrats on over £100,000 a year at NHS England.
Other such roles include three advanced lived experience practitioners at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, each paid £37,152 to £43,994, for those with “lived experience of recovery from mental and emotional distress”.
An essential skill for the jobs is understanding of the importance of equality and diversity, while those with protected characteristics – such as race and gender reassignment – are urged to apply for three lived experience posts at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS trust.