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Lead Category Manager

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Dorking, Surrey
£50,952 to £57,349 Per annum, includes Fringe HCAS
Closing date
31 Jul 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 8A
Contract Type
Full Time
At NHS Commercial Solutions (NHSCS), making a difference is important to us. If you're motivated and interested in delivering meaningful progress at the NHS, then this role could be for you.

We are looking for two Lead Category Managers to join our team.

This is an excellent opportunity to develop your career and category management experience as part of our strategic category teams. These roles will support a range of categories including Consultancy, Corporate Services, Estates, Facilities and Digital. They are critical categories and vital to the NHS in supporting the ongoing service pressures across the NHS.

These are strategic roles and will be key drivers of value for the NHS and wider public sector through delivering projects, frameworks and call off procurements for customers.

The roles will include extensive engagement with our member NHS organisations and other NHS and public sector customers, across a wide range of stakeholders, based locally, regionally and nationally. Key stakeholders also include Integrated Care Systems and NHS England.

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic individuals wanting to make a positive difference in the NHS. The successful candidates should be able to demonstrate strong personal skills, and extensive experience and enthusiasm for category management and procurement. They will also be a good communicators, have a strong people focused approach, and broad commercial acumen.

Main duties of the job

These will be strategic roles supporting the Consultancy and Corporate Services Specialist Category Manager and the Estates, Facilities and Digital Specialist Category Manager. The positions predominantly focus on category management and will provide providing sourcing, contract management and consultancy services across a wide range of customers.

These roles will involve multiple procurement programmes to improve value and quality for trusts.

These roles will provide advisory services, collaborative procurement solutions, supplier market expertise and work with NHS Trusts to optimise value outcomes.

You will be an ambassador for NHSCS working with senior stakeholders up to Board and Executive level in member Trusts. Working closely with key stakeholders and internal and external customers, you will set up and support individual and collaborative project groups working at all levels of stakeholder seniority.

Skills, experience, and a passion for this subject area are essential, together with a need for strong practical implementation experience.

This role is based at of offices in Dorking, Surrey.

About us

NHS Commercial Solutions (NHSCS) is a collaborative procurement NHS organisation providing strategic procurement services to NHS organisations within Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and further afield. NHSCS has delivered savings in excess of �300 million working in partnership with trusts and with multiple stakeholders to deliver cash releasing savings, cost and quality improvements across a wide range of categories.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the leading provider of health and social care services for people of all ages with mental ill-health and learning disabilities in Surrey and North East Hampshire. We also provide social care services for people with a learning disability in Croydon and ASD and ADHD assessment services in Hampshire.

We actively seek to engage people who use our services and our communities in improving the mental wellbeing of the local population. We work closely with other NHS and voluntary sector organisations who provide services and support people who use services and carers.

Our historic market towns and bustling districts are enveloped in wonderful countryside, and our excellent road and rail networks bring the rest of the country within easy reach.

Please note that we reserve the right to close posts as soon as sufficient applications are received.

Working from home contracts do not attract high cost area payments.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Job description

Job responsibilities

Job Overview

This is a full time role for an experienced lead category manager who will come in to lead specific strategic sourcing and category related initiatives for defined projects impacting all stages of the Procurement life cycle for a number of NHS organisations.

You will be expected to take the lead on a portfolio of category initiatives ensuring contract compliance, sustainable cost improvements, and a range of other benefits associated with the commissioning of Category services and products whilst maintaining NHS Commercial Solutions high standards.

You will work closely with procurement teams to ensure cohesive strategies in the delivery of products and services.

The Role Holder Will
  • Support the development and delivery of a strategic and operational procurement service
  • Work with stakeholders to ensure that service specifications, procurement evaluation criteria and assessment processes are fit for purpose and will result in the effective procurement of individual services
  • Support delivery against an annual procurement delivery plan in line with the organisations objectives to support Acute, Community and Mental Health Trusts for collaborative and independent projects
  • To manage a rolling workplan capturing and managing procurement intentions for a range of NHS organisations.
  • To drive change and innovation within NHSCS, in order to deliver commercial excellence across the region. This will be achieved by focusing on:
    • improving stakeholder benefit and advantage through new solutions.
    • engaging with stakeholders to understand their strategic integrated business plans and developing solutions that meet the needs.
    • developing and implementing project solutions, both on a collaborative and bespoke project management basis.
    • engaging with supplier markets to maintain the highest standard of market intelligence
  • Take the lead in individual procurements including responsibility for the preparation of tender documentation, undertaking briefings, assessment of bidder documentation according to financial viability, risk, sustainability and alignment with collaborative procurement strategies
  • Manage and build relationships within multi-disciplinary procurement project teams
  • Be responsible for maintaining communications around any current procurements and for preparing briefings for internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead the process of evaluation and bid assessment, ensuring that the processes are equitable, transparent and defensible and ensure that the customer attains best quality and value
  • Be responsible for the assessment of bidder documentation according to financial viability, risk, sustainability and alignment with current strategies
  • Liaise with and manage external contractors, maintaining effective partnership working whenever external procurement resource is required
  • Provide specialist procurement support and advice to Trust Stakeholders and other partners
  • Be responsible for maintaining communications around any current procurement and for preparing briefings for Directors and drafting Board papers as appropriate
  • Be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the overall approach and ensuring systems and processes for procurement are appropriate, fair transparent and non-discriminatory in line with national policy and relevant legislation
  • Maintain accurate records in accordance with good commercial practice, Standing Orders and the relevant organisations Freedom of Information Policy
  • Work with the Heads of Procurement across the region to ensure the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding the best practice procurement approach
  • Advise on the impact of the procurements and the implementation of NHS policy or initiatives and service developments
  • Develop and contribute to procurement methodologies, policies and procedures.
  • Advise on best practice procurement, working collaboratively with other agencies wherever possible

Suitable for someone who has
  • Excellent communication skills verbal, written, and presentational.
  • Strong analytical skills
  • The ability to understand and interpret complex data and information and utilize it effectively to inform others and influence key decision makers
  • A keen eye for detail with good organisational skills
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods of time with frequent interruptions
  • The ability to multitask and switch tasks efficiently
  • A proactive mindset
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Key Relationships

The candidate will be required to maintain strong relationships with:
  • Trust Heads of Procurement and procurement teams
  • NHS Commercial Solutions Executive Team
  • Project Stakeholders
  • NHS and public sector collaborative procurement colleagues
  • External partners including engagement with the public
  • Existing providers
  • Potential new entrants to the provider market

Key Responsibilities:
    • Manage individual procurements as a project using appropriate project management principles
    • Liaise with and manage independent contractors, maintaining effective partnership working whenever external procurement resource is required
    • Provide specialist procurement support and advice to budget holders, commissioners and other partners
    • Ensure that procurements are conducted in line with the process required from the standing financial instructions, regional, and national rules
    • Require applying their skills at the level below as per the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework

Person Specification



  • oCIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma or equivalent is Essential
  • oDegree or equivalent relevant qualifications or experience


  • Working towards CIPS Level 6 is Desirable, or equivalent qualification or relevant experience.



  • oAt least 5 years' functional experience in procurement with a clear understanding of best practice techniques in category management.
  • oRelevant experience to Category Services procurement with a good history of successful delivery
  • oNHS or Public Sector experience including familiarity with UK and EU legislation/law within procurement is required

Employer details

Employer name

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


NHS Commercial Solutions

The Atrium, Curtis Road

Dorking, Surrey


Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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