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Category Buyer

Job Posted: 6 February 2024
Job Updated: 6 February 2024

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Job Title: Category Buyer

Function: Commercial

Location: Hybrid/From any NHSSC Location

Type: Permanent

Job Ref: 692

Salary: £32,045 with the potential to rise to £37,700 over 3 years



We have a great opportunity for a number of Category Buyers within the Commercial Category team, across various specialties, covering the following category areas.

On application you should state clearly if you have any preference for a category:


Diagnostics, Equipment & Services

Medical & Surgical

Medical Technology

Rehabilitation and Community


What does a Category Buyer do at NHS Supply Chain?


The Category Buyer will contribute to specific category or product group strategy to improve the supply chain, reduce risk, create competitive advantage and deliver cost savings. Through a focus on product range, offers and how products are brought to market, and in close collaboration with key stakeholders, create product groups that maximize value both for customers and the organization. Contribute with insights into industry and consumer trends and support the development of recommendations to optimize new product launches.




Category Management – Deliver specific category goals within a category plan/program in line with the organizations’ procurement strategy.

Data Exploration – Produce accurate reports for others by collecting data from a variety of standard sources and inputting that data into standard formats.

Horizon Scanning – Explore and develop a basic understanding of external developments or emerging issues.

Market Access – Carry out prescribed stakeholder management activities by following existing procedures; provide support to others in building and optimizing relationships and interactions with external and internal stakeholders, including key decision makers, regulators, public organizations, governmental institutions, insurance companies, providers, professional communities, and customer/client/patient groups.

Data Collection and Analysis – Collate and analyse data using pre-set tools, methods and formats. Involves working independently.

Operational Compliance – Develop working knowledge of the organization’s policies and procedures and of regulatory codes and codes of conduct relevant to own work, adhering to mandatory procedures to ensure own work is undertaken to the required standards.

Stakeholder Engagement – Assist with stakeholder engagement by arranging actions, meetings, events, and supporting materials to promote stakeholder understanding and commitment.

Sourcing – Collect and collate information on the key cost drivers, market dynamics and issues, areas of innovation, and alternative suppliers for more senior colleagues to provide solid market information for decision making.

Customer Service – Provide a quality service to customers while identifying opportunities to secure new business or support retention. Responsibilities may include processing cases, dealing with complex queries, and investigating and resolving customer problems.

Information and Business Advice – Resolve queries from internal or external customers or suppliers by providing information on complex processes and the related policies, referring to others where necessary for interpretation of policy.


What skills, qualifications and qualities do I need to be successful?


Communicates Effectively – Develops and delivers communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences. For example, listens attentively and takes an interest. Keeps others well informed; conveys information clearly, concisely, and professionally when speaking or writing.

Manages Complexity – Makes sense of complex, high quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems. Ensuring a great eye for detail. For example, looks at complex issues from multiple angles; explores issues to uncover underlying issues and root causes; sees the main consequences and implications of different options.

Ensures Accountability – Holds self and others accountable to meet commitments. For example, accepts responsibility for own work, both successes and failures. Handles fair share and does not make excuses for problems. Usually meets commitments to others.

Business Strategy – Applies knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals. For example, understands the main business fundamentals. Tries to learn the organization’s key drivers, industry developments, and trends; seeks guidance to understand choices.

Plans and Aligns – Plans and prioritizes work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals. For example, outlines clear plans that put actions in a logical sequence; conveys some time frames. Aligns own work with relevant workgroups. Takes some steps to reduce bottlenecks and speed up the work.

Collaborates- Builds partnerships and works collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives. For example, readily involves others to accomplish goals; stays in touch and shares information; discourages “us versus them” thinking; shows appreciation for others’ ideas and input.

Optimises work processes – Knows the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement. For example, uses metrics and benchmarks to monitor accuracy and quality. Takes steps to make methods productive and efficient. Promptly and effectively addresses process breakdowns.

Data Collection and Analysis Analyse data trends for use in reports to help guide decision making.

Tech Savvy – Anticipates and adopts innovations in business-building digital and technology applications. For example, makes effective use of the latest technologies required for success in the role; grasps the main terminology. Learns and adopts new technologies, although may require some time to master the changes.

Stakeholder Engagement – Works without supervision and provides technical guidance when required on managing stakeholders so that they deliver the best possible results given available resources.


How you will work


Hybrid working; a blend of home and office working 2/3 days in the office and 2/3 days working from home.


In return for your passion, enthusiasm, and hard work you will be rewarded with an attractive salary and benefits package, consisting of:


Performance led annual bonus scheme

27 days holiday plus bank holidays, with the option to purchase up to an additional 5 days

Generous contributory pension scheme (up to 6% employee / 12% employer contributions of your base salary)

Access to Flexible Benefits Scheme – you will be able to choose from a variety of benefits such Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover, Income Protection, Health Cash Plan, Dental Insurance and additional pension contributions that suit you

2 days paid Volunteering Leave

1 day paid Wellbeing Leave

Long Service Awards

Access to the Blue Light Card and NHS Discounts

Flexible working options

National Annual season ticket purchase scheme

Eye Care vouchers

Access to a free 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme


NHS Supply Chain, who are we?


We are a part of the NHS family, and our role is to source, deliver and supply healthcare products, services and food for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales. We make sure the products we supply are always safe, quality assured and delivered efficiently.


We’re always listening to the people who use our products, so that we’re aware of the changing needs across the NHS. In all, we serve every NHS Trust and operate a national network of distribution centres. We also manage relationships with more than a thousand suppliers, delivering more than 8,000,000 orders each year to more than 17,000 locations.


And by doing all of this on behalf of the NHS, this gives NHS staff more time to focus on their main priority of proving excellent patient care.


Our, Purpose, Vision and Strategy are clear. We provide direction, leadership, and commercial focus to improve health outcomes.


Vision: To make it easier for the NHS to put patients first


Purpose: Our role is to support the NHS to save lives and improve health



Be Authentic

Be Inclusive

Be Driven

Be Enterprising

Be The Difference


Other Information

You will join on SCCL terms and conditions. 

For more information on SCCL and the NHS Supply chain please visit:

For an informal discussion about the role in confidence please email us at


NHS Supply Chain is an equal opportunities employer

SCCL is a company Registered in England and Wales, with company number 10881715, to act as the management function of the NHS Supply Chain.

SCCL values and respects the diversity of its employees and aims to recruit a workforce which reflects our diverse communities. We welcome applications irrespective of people’s age, disability, gender, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or other personal circumstances.

Our policies and procedures reflect our commitment to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and consistently at every stage of the recruitment process.

SCCL reserve the right to close any vacancies from further submissions when we have received sufficient applications from which to make a shortlist. Please apply without delay if you wish to be considered for this role.

If you are shortlisted for interview you will be required to provide proof of ID and the right to work in the UK.

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