Shirley Rogers

Scottish Government

“Kind people are my kind of people” is Shirley Rogers mantra!

Throughout her career Shirley has been passionate about the role that people management has in fostering a sense of pride, respect and community within the workforce for the benefit of patient care.

After graduating with an Honours Degree from Newcastle University in 1986, she began her career working in Central Government in London and from there moved to the private sector and the Police Service before joining NHS Scotland in 1996.

Shirley initially worked as Human Resource Director within the Scottish Ambulance Service and, in the eight years since Shirley was appointed as Director of Health Workforce, Leadership, Reform and EU Exit preparations at the Scottish Government, she has championed a number of areas including:

• Leadership and management development;
• Succession planning and talent management;
• Everyone Matters, the Workforce Vision for NHS Scotland;
• Workforce planning;
• Reshaping medical careers.

Shirley pays attention to staff and recognises that compassionate leadership is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the health and social care workforce. Her own style embodies compassion and, as a leader, Shirley encourages staff to “listen to each other with fascination”, to understand the challenges we all face and to empathise and support each other

As an HR professional she not only recognises the importance of these values but also the need to deliver them. Shirley has worked tirelessly to ensure that they have become part of the fabric of NHSScotland by:

• Ensuring that leaders and managers at all levels understand and demonstrate the values and behaviours expected of them;

• Ensuring that line managers at all levels are clear about their people management responsibilities and are held to account for how they carry out these responsibilities;

• Identifying the development, training and support needs of line managers at all levels, particularly in relation to people management.

Shirley is an inspiration and a mentor to many young Human Resource professionals. Despite being very busy she always makes time to help others and never makes the person on the other end of the conversation feel unimportant. Under Shirley’s tenure there has been a clear emphasis on development, growth and support, not just for fellow HR professionals but for all employees across NHSScotland. Shirley recognises the importance of taking time to understand employee expectations and fostering commitment towards the goal of delivering high quality health and social care services across the country.

Shirley’s tenure as Director of Health Workforce, Leadership, Reform has seen the public sector face the unprecedented challenges of financial and workforce sustainability, rising demand, expectations and complexity.

As she departs the NHS for a new challenge in leading preparations for the country’s exit from Europe the loss of her energy and enthusiasm will be keenly felt by her colleagues.

Through her approach to talent management Shirley has overseen the development of a national talent pool of emerging leaders and aspiring directors who will now be able to take the next step in their careers and fill the void she leaves.

The qualities that she embodied during her service and the she legacy that she leaves means people management has never been more relevant within the NHS.

I can’t think of a more worthy recipient of the HPMA Lifetime Achievement Award than Shirley Rogers. 

Shirley’s career has spanned a number of organisations in both the private and public sector and her affinity for public service has always been evident to anyone who knows or has worked with her.  The Director of HR & OD for the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) for 16 years, Shirley then become the Chief People Officer for NHS Scotland and Director of Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform.  Her remit regularly grew in scale and span demonstrating just how highly regarded and trusted Shirley is.  She has skilfully and tirelessly worked with Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers, NHS Boards, Trade Unions and the Royal Colleges alike and was a key part of both the NHS Scotland national leadership team and the Senior Civil Service within the Scottish Government.  Having stepped down as NHS Scotland’s Chief People Officer, after 8 years, in March 2020 you might think that Shirley would have taken a well earned break.  But no, she agreed to stay on and support the Scottish Government as Director of Operational Readiness, including being the Senior Civil Servant responsible for the Scottish Government Resilience Room (COBRA equivalent).  Taking this role on at the point when we were faced with a pandemic was not for the faint hearted – but I’ve never know Shirley to shirk from a challenge!

Shirley is someone that I both respect and admire as a professional and as a person is someone I’m proud to know and have worked with. 

Many congratulations on all your many achievements, Shirley, and this very well deserved recognition from HPMA.

 Best wishes, always,

Stephen x

Dr Stephen S. Moir

Executive Director of Resources, the City of Edinburgh Council,

& former Chief People Officer, NHS England.

DAC Beachcroft is the legal firm of choice for health and social care, with the largest health employment and pensions team nationally. We were named legal adviser of the year – public sector at the 2013 and 2014 Health Investor Awards. What sets us apart is our in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by HR Directors and their teams within health and social care and our ability to provide commercial, innovative and practical answers to a wide range of issues. “Exceptional employment practice celebrated for its expertise in matters related to large reorganisations and restructurings…. A very good team that gets results and offers good response times” Chambers UK 2015

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