What is the role?
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, you will be responsible for the logistics of a project, tailor-made to address available resources, their organisational structure and both financial and cultural issues, thereby helping to facilitate the transfer of the UK’s ‘Gold Standard’ of care to the country’s CF population. This clearly represents a real opportunity to make a considerable difference to patient care in another country, in some cases at least doubling life expectancy.
Probably the most important aspect of the Project Manager’s job is mediation between the various parties involved, which may have to take account of operating in a country with different cultural values. It will involve travelling with a UK medical team to the other country in which you will be in charge of the practicalities of the visit, and to be there to support the medical team throughout.
The role is part time involving a few hours a week on average but there are intensely busy periods especially when accompanying a visiting team of healthcare professionals abroad and during return visits by health professionals to this country. Usually there will be one 5 to 10 day visit per year to the country, but a shorter 3 or 4 day follow-up visit may be required in some cases. Visits by overseas health workers, such as a physiotherapist or doctor coming to gain specialist experience in a UK CF centre, may be longer.
Each project, usually in an Eastern European country, initially involves the issuance of a detailed questionnaire to determine the needs of the CF organisation in the country and a risk assessment by you and the Lead Clinician to determine the most appropriate way forward.
Once an outline plan for three years and detailed proposals for the next 6 to 12 months (including estimated costs for budget purposes) are approved by the Board, you will be responsible for:
- Arranging visas for the overseas visit, appropriate transportation and accommodation, and if necessary, an interpreter;
- Agreeing a visit programme that may include an outpatients’ clinic, specialist seminars (e.g. practical CF physiotherapy, dietary, etc.) and meetings with local parents’ support group(s) and possibly health officials. You may also be required to organise or participate in “wider” CF conferences.
- Arranging appropriate entertainment/leisure activities;
- Managing visit finances and keeping accounts;
- Possibly dealing with PR issues that may include giving interviews to local media;
- Taking notes, photographs and writing a report of each visit in order to ensure that objectives are met and participants have a good experience;
- Reporting progress to the Board on a regular basis and sharing experiences with fellow Project Managers and Trustees;
- Establishing or maintaining good relationships with the overseas centre staff, the Parents’ Support Group, any associated non-governmental organisation(s) and the UK clinical team that is usually led by a CF Paediatric or Adult Consultant;
- Gathering feedback on the results of all exchanges in terms of benefits to patients; and
- Maintaining the Project Management Plan for the project that has been designed to not only assist in structuring and planning the project but capturing all aspects of the project throughout its life cycle.
Finally, assistance in monitoring the roles and services of the UK CF Trust and the European Cystic Fibrosis Society is necessary as such roles and services may be helpful in achieving the project’s objectives e.g. partnering a CF Trust Branch (made up of parents) with a parent group in the country to share experiences and provide support.
As a charity that comes into contact with children and adolescents, you must agree to comply with and adhere to: the Charities Commission’s Code of Conduct for Volunteers; the Child Protection Policy, Guidelines and Procedures; and Child Health International’s governing policies and procedures, e.g. relating to data protection, finance and expenditure.
You must obviously have excellent planning abilities and the ability to work with others as a team, and be able to respond quickly to a changing situation if necessary. As these projects run for a number of years, continuity is very desirable and ideally 2-3 years minimum.
The role may also involve obtaining external funding from potential sponsors (e.g. pharmaceutical companies and expatriate associations) and consequently you must be comfortable and confident in approaching these companies and organisations for financial assistance, if required.
Clearly, some medical knowledge, for example of the NHS and cystic fibrosis in particular, would be beneficial but not essential.
Similarly, some competence in a foreign language, particularly Russian, would be very beneficial but not essential.
As with everyone working in the charity, and all the UK medical personnel involved, the job is on a voluntary basis, but all reasonable expenses are covered.
In summary, we are looking for someone who is methodical, compassionate and a team player, ideally with previous project management skills or similar organisational experience.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying for this role, please send a short letter of application, summarising the expertise you can offer, together with a copy of your CV, to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject marked “Project Manager Application”. All correspondence will be handled in confidence.