Category Specialist

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
£43,742 to £50,056 pro rata, per annum
Closing date
29 Nov 2023

View more

Other Health Profession
Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
An exciting opportunity exists for a Category Specialist to work within the Procurement and Supplies Department of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, responsible for implementing procurement activity to deliver the Trusts Reconfiguration Programme enabling consolidation of clinical activity onto two acute sites.

We are looking for a dynamic and experienced procurement professional to facilitate the equipment of buildings ready for operational use, enabling the delivery of safe and high quality services to improve health outcomes for patients.

The successful candidate will manage projects to achieve the most economic supply arrangements, whilst adhering to procurement rules and Trust governance, Delivering within the budget, Optimising the use of resources and Communicating effectively across the programme.

Your primary base will be County Hall however frequent travel between UHL's hospital sites will be required.

Main duties of the job

Reporting to a Category Manager, the post holder will manage a portfolio of projects within one or more Procurement Categories to achieve the most economic supply arrangements, whilst adhering to procurement rules and Trust governance.

Supporting the coverage of the UHL Reconfiguration Programme and the Trusts non-pay spend, ensuring strategies that deliver value for money and improved services for designated Categories.

The post holder will provide a comprehensive procurement advisory and planning service to Clinical Management Groups and Corporate Directorates, supporting them in driving efficiency in clinical and non-clinical expenditure. They will be required to deliver procurements within pre-defined budgets.

The post holder will be responsible for ensuring all products and services within the scope of the post are procured in line with local and national procurement strategy and in line with both UK and European Procurement legislation and SFI's, SO's, to the Clinical Management Groups and Corporate Directorates, supporting them in driving efficiency in clinical and non-clinical expenditure. They will ensure rigorous control of Procurement is maintained which complies with current European legislation.

The post holder will have line management responsibility of assigned Category Assistants.

About us

Our new strategy, developed with the support and feedback of colleagues, patients, and partners, is our compass for the next seven years (2023-2030).

We have four primary goals:
  • high-quality care for all,
  • being a great place to work,
  • partnerships for impact, and
  • research and education excellence

And we will embed health equality in all we do - taking active steps to reduce the avoidable differences in healthcare that some people face, working in partnership with communities.

Our strategy is underpinned by new values and we will work to ensure they are an everyday reality for all:
  • we are compassionate,
  • we are proud,
  • we are inclusive, and
  • we are one team

This is an exciting moment as we look to the future with clarity on what we already do well and where we need to focus our energies to make an even bigger difference for the people we serve.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The post holder will be responsible for:
  • Leading on specific sourcing programmes for defined projects, both Trust wide and in single CMGs, taking the lead on the allocated sourcing category or categories, and contributing significantly to the delivery of allocated procurement projects wthin key markets.
  • Able to deputise for the Category or project procurement lead.
  • The preparation and presentation of Procurement Strategy, Procurement process plans and making recommendations on contract award to the Commercial Executive.
  • Assisting in the delivery of cost and efficiency savings across a large project range across CMGs, by analysing current spend information and undertaking complex market analysis or product usage and cost trends to develop procurement strategies. To ensure that CMG proposals for non-pay savings are robust and reported appropriately.
  • The engagement of Clinicians, Managers and Stakeholders in the end to end process for product selection and supply of services, including demand challenge, transition and implementation planning and development of strategy, tender evaluation, award criteria, and ongoing contract management.
  • Promoting contract compliance across the Trust in particular where commitment contracts are placed, through escalation to the Senior Category Manager.
  • Undertaking rigorous and widespread benchmarking activity to support on-going negotiation and market intelligence for designated Categories.
  • Supporting the development, creation, and delivery of the strategy for demand challenge and procurement process by liaising with the necessary clinical leads and medical staff, recommending change where necessary to affect efficiencies and savings.
  • Working with Senior Procurement Management to develop networks to promote greater understanding and buy in to the Trust and Procurement Strategy.
  • Senior activity in liaising with colleagues at all levels to ensure compliance in the use of agreed standardised products, ensuring the range of items within catalogues are rationalised to an optimum level.
  • Take the lead on setting up and/or work with established product evaluation groups across the Trust to evaluate products and fast track product rationalisation decisions.
  • Promoting the standardisation of equipment using evidence base and innovative practice across the health economy of the region by carrying out effective, collaborative equipment purchases and trials.
  • Representing UHL in working with other public bodies in the integration of purchasing/product service standardisation.
  • Make recommendations as to products and services to purchase in conjunction with Clinical and User networks
  • Work with conflicting stakeholder needs through sourcing groups providing a robust whole life costing approach to ensure best value to the Clinical Management Groups
  • Provide reports to support the Senior Category Manager / Category Managers attendance at relevant senior meetings.
  • Responsible for the authorisation of contracts and purchase orders within the Scheme of Delegation.
  • Analyse the past financial performance of suppliers to make recommendations as to the financial capacity of an organisation to trade with the Trust.
  • Use of procurement and financial management systems:
  • Responsible for managing tenders through the online tendering system and contract management.
  • Process orders within financial delegation.
  • Use of benchmarking software to produce and interpret reports to present to CMG's.
  • Inputting and manipulating data, using software to produce reports
  • Manage and coordinate the work to support the Category lead in gathering and analysing spend and supplier data, and if appropriate tracking benefits with the input of Finance and preparing these for inclusion in reports and presentations.
  • To liaise with the Supplies Operations team in relation to any contracts convened, ensuring information is presented to them in a timely and agreed format. To provide data to update the catalogue with new supplier details product details, contract dates and prices and payment terms.
  • Liaising with colleagues at all levels to ensure compliance in the use of agreed standardised products, ensuring the range of items within catalogues are rationalised to an optimum level.
  • General Activities
    • To support the provision of market data for agreed commodities or service areas meeting suppliers as appropriate and disseminating information to appropriate personnel within the Trust.
    • To monitor procurement developments of external organisations
    • To represent Procurement at meetings within the Trust.
    • To assist in the development of the Departments services

Person Specification

Training & Qualifications


  • Degree or relevant experience.
  • Hold a professional procurement qualification or have relevant procurement experience.
  • Demonstrate evidence of continuing professional development.



  • Proven ability to operate/think laterally & work on own initiative.
  • Expert theoretical knowledge of public sector procurement.
  • Industrious and versatile.
  • Proven experience of procurement/category management within a large organisation, including management of complex tenders.
  • Experience of using e-tendering solutions.


  • Experience of procurement/category management within the NHS.
  • Experience in negotiation.
  • Experience of Demand Management techniques
  • Experience of Managing Staff

Communication and relationship skills


  • Tactful, diplomatic and at ease with all kinds of people.
  • Proven high level of communication skills using a range of methods including written, verbal and presentations.
  • Ability to lead and cooperate with cross functional teams to drive progress.
  • Articulate with practised and developed interpersonal communication and presentational skills.


  • Experience working within a team/workshop environment which produces measurable outputs

Analytical and Judgement skills


  • Demonstrate the ability to analyse and interpret data
  • Show a good level of comprehension and ability to interpret reports and other market information


  • Experience in preparing reports and analyses for senior management

Planning and organisation skills


  • Ability to prioritise a wide range of competing priorities of own workload and that of the team.
  • Evidence of the ability to work on own initiative and plan effectively.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


  • Able to demonstrate a commitment to and understanding of the importance of treating all individuals with dignity and respect appropriate to their individual needs.
  • All staff are expected to engage in compassionate and inclusive leadership in the provision of high quality care and interactions with others

Other requirements specific to the role


  • Potential to develop and change within the changing NHS.
  • Conversant with information management and technology.
  • Demonstrate solid achievement in their current/previous roles.
  • Enthusiastic and motivated.
  • Reliable and gives attention to detail.


  • Vehicle License Holder.

Commitment to Trust Values and Behaviours


  • Must be able to demonstrate behaviours consistent with the Trust's Values and Behaviours

Employer details

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