Infection Prevention and Control Specialist (UK-PHRST) At London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Infection Prevention and Control Specialist (UK-PHRST)

Civil Service: Grade 7

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care providing; strategic leadership, research, advice and support for Government, local authorities and the NHS in protecting and improving the nation’s health

This is a Non Reserved post under the Civil Service Nationality Rules and is therefore open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals and certain non EEA members. For more information please refer to the supporting documents detailing the Civil Service Nationality Rules.

  • For posts on PHE Civil Service terms and conditions, on appointment the salary is normally the minimum point (see salary range above). This will be dependent on the successful candidate’s current salary and terms and/or equivalent experience. The Civil Service pay structure and progression is different from NHS Agenda for Change, most local authority pay grades and other systems that have annual pay increments. Please see attached an information sheet explaining starting salaries and benefits when joining PHE.
  • For clinically ringfenced AfC or Medical/Dental posts, you must obtain the correct professional registration to be appointed. The pay will follow the AfC or Medical & Dental terms & conditions. You may be asked to provide evidence on previous service whilst we are conducting pre-employment checks to determine starting salaries.

Any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

Temporary Appointments: If you are external to the Civil Service, you will take up the post on a Fixed Term appointment, if you are an existing Civil Servant, based outside of PHE, you will take up the post as a loan and if you are an existing PHE member of staff, you will take up the post as either a level transfer or a temporary promotion as per PHE’s Pay and Grading policy. If you are an existing Civil Servant, (in PHE or elsewhere) you must have prior agreement from your Line Manager before applying for this post.

Roles Supporting The Covid Response Work: If the role is supporting the Covid response, then the position is a Temporary Appointment with no expectation of permanence. The role will be demobilised when the pandemic response scales back and the Temporary Contract will conclude.

Given the nature of the work of PHE, as a Category 1 department, you may be required in an emergency, if deemed a necessity, to redeploy to another role at short notice. You may also be required to work at any other location, within reasonable travelling distance of your permanent home address, in line with the provisions set out in your contract of employment.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: PHE website

On 18 August 2020, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced plans to establish a new agency (then referred to as the National Institute for Health Protection) to lead on health protection in England and to consult on the best future options for strengthening health improvement and other public health functions in the wider system. On 24 March 2021, the Secretary of State announced the new agency would be called the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and on 29 March 2021 he announced the creation of the Office for Health Promotion (within the Department of Health & Social Care). Public Health England and many of its employees will be in scope for transition to new organisations in Autumn 2021. Any new or current employees working for Public Health England during this time, will receive appropriate communications and consultation prior to any formal transfer taking place. Employees who are required to transfer to successor bodies would usually remain on their existing contractual terms and conditions ( with any proposed changes being subject to consultation) and this applies both to current employees and those recruited during the transition. The recruitment, growth & development of our workforce is vital for the continuing success of PHE, and the future UK Health Security Agency and Office for Health Promotion.

To be eligible for employment in the UK Civil Service applicants must meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules (CSNRs) which operate independently and additionally to the Immigration Rules. Applicants must also meet necessary security and vetting requirements, along with any other relevant pre-employment checks.

As from 1 January 2021 broadly the following groups may be eligible to work in non-reserved posts within the Civil Service:

  • UK nationals
  • Nationals of Commonwealth countries
  • Nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • EEA nationals with (or eligible for) status under the EUSS
  • Relevant EEA or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • Relevant EEA or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • Certain family members of the relevant EU & Turkish nationals


Job overview

The UK-PHRST (UK Public Health Rapid Support Team) are looking to recruit an outstanding individual to serve as an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Specialist. The post-holder will be employed by Public Health England (PHE) with an honorary contract with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The successful applicant will be expected to work closely with both institutions.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the UK-PHRST, whose triple remit is to support outbreak response, outbreak-related research and capacity building in Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

Main duties of the job

The UK-PHRST team is comprised of epidemiologists, microbiologists, infection prevention and control experts, social scientists, data managers, and in addition to the Director and Deputy Directors, the core management team. It is underpinned by a cadre of multidisciplinary outbreak-focused research fellows in mental health, education, public health and knowledge management. The post-holder will be responsible for delivering infection prevention and control operational support in health care settings and to the wider community during outbreaks, and to conduct research and capacity development objectives to LMICs. The post will be required to deploy for outbreak response to advise on IPC measures directly, or through WHO, to the Ministries of Health in LMICs.

Working for our organisation

The UK-PHRST is a partnership between PHE and LSHTM, with contributions from numerous academic partners. The UK-PHRST monitors infectious diseases and other hazards globally to identify situations where the deployment of specialist expertise can mitigate these threats. It rapidly deploys a team of multidisciplinary public health professionals and researchers on behalf of the UK Government to areas of need in support of national governments, the World Health Organisation and other partners.

Option 3 – External

Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants).

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

When the post-holder is not required for outbreaks, they will contribute to the UK-PHRST’s research and capacity building programme in LMICs. As a member of the Core Deployable Team, the post holder will be available to be deployed to outbreaks within 48 hours’ notice. They will also be expected to conduct research projects and provide capacity development in Low and Middle-Income Countries on behalf of the UK-PHRST. The post-holder should expect to spend up to 40 percent of their time overseas. They may be asked to act as team leader for outbreak deployments if needed.

The post-holder should possess the ability to engage with senior government and other donor or development agency officials at a high level, and to convey opinions and ideas constructively and diplomatically. Effective communication and team building skills are essential for successful overseas operations, which are dependent on good team dynamics and the ability to develop excellent working relations with partners both in the UK and overseas. Strategic level thinking will be required to ensure that the post holder can understand and operate within both the Team’s ethos and the wider ‘one HMG’ context in outbreak settings and for public health-related issues.

Person specification


Essential criteria

  • Master’s level, or higher degree in a related subject, or evidence of CPD accredited points equivalent to master’s level practice
  • Recognised qualification in IPC or demonstrable equivalent experience

Desirable criteria

  • Registered General Nurse, medical professional or allied health care professional with current professional registration e.g. NMC, GMC

Knowledge and experience

Essential criteria

  • Extensive experience in a health protection/ IPC role at a senior level with specialist knowledge and expertise in IPC both nationally and internationally

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of leading and maintaining quality and clinical governance frameworks such as the WHO tools for IPC in healthcare
  • Experience of developing and delivering training programmes on a wide range of topics to trainees, pre and post registration

Skills and capabilities

Essential criteria

  • Highly effective verbal, written and presentation communications skills; capable of constructing and delivering clear ideas and concepts concisely and accurately for diverse audiences
  • Proven ability to build trusted stakeholder relationships networks in a politically sensitive and/or changing environment and ability to handle challenging issues pro-actively with problem solving
  • Ability to interpret, analyse and disseminate complex and/or sensitive information in a concise yet insightful way, pre-empting and evaluating issues and recommending appropriate course of action(s) to large and influential groups
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office including Word, and Excel
  • Evidence of ongoing commitment to Continuing Professional Development and willing to share experience with others to influence practice
  • Ability to prioritise own work effectively as well as the ability to direct activities of others including managing and motivating a team and providing professional supervision.

Desirable criteria

  • Ability to communicate (speak/read) at a working level in other languages, such as French, Portuguese, and/or Arabic


Essential criteria

  • Must be prepared to travel and able to work in austere environments and ability to work in harsh conditions, often in remote areas.

Equality and diversity

Essential criteria

  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems and working with multi-ethnic and multi-cultural teams

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles (attached as a supporting document).

Employees who feel they have been unfairly treated during a recruitment process can use the civil service commission’s grievance procedure. External candidates should complain to the hiring manager handling their campaign. In addition both internal and external candidates have the right to complain to the Civil Service Commissioners.

If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.

Interview expenses will not be reimbursed.

PHE is required to check employment and/or education history covering three consecutive years. Please ensure you give details of at least two different referees, even if you were employed in one company for three years or more.
For more information please go to the PHE website.

If you are offered a job, information will also be transferred into the national NHS Electronic Staff Records system. Please note, all communication regarding your application will be made via email, please ensure you check your junk/spam folders as emails are sometimes filtered there.

Any move to Public Health England from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Benefits of working at PHE include:
Generous annual leave:

  • 26 days for the first 5 years of continuous service
  • 28 days after 5 years of continuous service
  • 32 days after 10 years of continuous service,
  • plus public holidays and one for the Queen’s birthday

We also promote flexible working patterns (part-time, job-share, condensed hours)
• Access to a generous Defined Benefit pension scheme with employer contributions.
• Access to a cycle-to-work salary sacrifice scheme, season ticket advances and payroll giving
• Access to a retail discounts and cashback site

PHE views flexible working as essential in enabling us to recruit and retain talented people, ensuring that they are able to enjoy a long-lasting career with us. All employees have the right to apply for flexible working and there are a range of options available including; working from home, compressed hours and job sharing.
We also offer a generous maternity/ paternity and adoption leave package.

How to apply

Further details / informal visits contact

Name: Emilio Hornsey

Job title: Senior Infection Prevention and Control Nurse

Email address:

Apply here now:

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