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Category Lead

Job Posted: 17 April 2024
Job Updated: 3 June 2024

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Job Title: Category Lead

Function: Commercial – Diagnostics

Location: Leeds

Contract type: Fixed Term – 12 months

Salary: £59,925 with the potential to rise to £70,500 over 3 years

Closing Date: 24th June 2024

We have a great opportunity for a Category Lead within the Diagnostics area for a 12-month FTC.

Our Category Leads will manage a specific portfolio of category strategies, delivering full category management for the area. They will have responsibility for the delivery of the category KPIs, driving savings and value along with growing market share and ensuring continuity of supply. This role with have line management responsibility for the Category Managers, Category Buyers and Procurement Assistants (where applicable) in the specific category area.

The Category Leads will have accountability for building cross functional relationships with the wider organisation and externally with stakeholders, with the aim of identifying and implementing improvements in our ways of working that will create efficiencies for the organisation as well as improved value and service for our NHS customers.

There will be a focus on enabling innovation and driving tangible value-based procurement outcomes for Trusts, ICS / ICB and other customers.

Every day you will … 

  • Manage a category plan/program in line with the organisations’ commercial strategy ensuring realisation of synergies, like cost savings and risk-reduction, and optimisation of the category delivery, while reporting to senior colleagues.
  • Explore and develop a detailed understanding of external developments or emerging issues and evaluate their potential impact on, or usefulness to, the organisation.
  • Provide specialist advice on the interpretation and application of policies and procedures, resolving complex or contentious queries and issues and enabling others to take appropriate actions.
  • Develop stakeholder engagement through identifying stakeholders, finding out their needs, issues and concerns and reacting to these to support the communication of business information and decisions.
  • Set clear objectives for each category; develop and make presentations that are tailored to the known interests, needs, issues, and concerns of decision makers and influencers within the customer organisations; gather and analyse relevant information; and gain agreement to a statement of customer requirements.
  • Build and optimise important relationships and interactions with external and internal stakeholders, including key decision makers, regulators, public organisations, governmental institutions, suppliers, NHS providers, professional communities, and customer and patient groups. Work with guidance from senior colleagues.
  • Develop own capabilities by participating in assessment and development planning activities as well as formal and informal training and coaching; gain or maintain external professional accreditation where relevant to improve performance and fulfill personal potential. Maintain an in-depth understanding of technology, external regulation, and industry best practices through ongoing education, attending conferences, and reading specialist media.

What can we offer you?

We want to reward you for your passion, enthusiasm, and hard work so we offer much more than a competitive salary:

  • Hybrid working opportunities, giving you the flexibility to work collaboratively in the office and remotely.  
  • We recognise our employees’ hard work and contributions with annual bonus schemes, long service, and VIP colleagues awards. 
  • 27 days holiday plus bank holidays, with the option to purchase an additional 5 days.
  • We are dedicated to your development, through in-house training, support, and access to external qualifications to maximise your potential.
  • A focus on your well-being offering 1 day of paid well-being leave and free access to the 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme
  • Generous pension scheme (with us contributing 12% when you contribute 6%)
  • Access to our Flexible Benefits Scheme, where you can choose from a variety of benefits such as Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover, Income Protection, Health Cash Plan, Dental Insurance, and additional pension contributions that suit you.
  • 2 days of paid volunteering leave allowing you to give back to your community. 
  • Access to many discounts from the Blue Light Card to NHS Discounts.

NHS Supply Chain, who are we?

Our role is to support the NHS to save lives and improve health. 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 serve every NHS Trust and operate a national network of distribution centres, managing relationships with more than a thousand suppliers and delivering more than 8,000,000 orders each year to more than 17,000 locations. Doing all of this on behalf of the NHS gives NHS staff more time to focus on their main priority of providing excellent patient care.

What skills will help you thrive in this role?

You will need to be able to demonstrate and evidence strong leadership capability as well as well-developed and tested category management skills. In addition, we will expect you to be able to demonstrate:

  • Uses comprehensive knowledge and skills to work independently while providing guidance and training to others on analysing data from multiple sources to draw appropriate conclusions and make suitable recommendations.
  • Applies comprehensive knowledge to act independently while providing guidance and training to others on using clear and effective verbal communications skills to express ideas, request actions and formulate plans or policies.
  • Negotiates as the organisational authority and established expert to help the organisation by obtaining consensus between two or more internal or external parties who may have different interests.
  • Uses comprehensive knowledge and skills to work independently while providing guidance and training to others on developing appropriate plans or performing necessary actions based on recommendations and requirements.
  • Uses comprehensive knowledge and skills to work independently while providing guidance and training to others on developing, monitoring, interpreting and understanding policies and procedures, while making sure they match organizational strategies and objectives.
  • Acts as the organisation’s authorities and applies expertise to maximise performance of contracts.


Want to develop your career with the NHS Supply Chain? Then apply below or reach out for an informal discussion about the role in confidence by emailing us at 

Our Inclusive Commitment

At NHS Supply Chain, we are committed to building an inclusive environment where difference is not only valued, but celebrated, giving everyone the opportunity to thrive in their career. Developing our people is key to our success, so if this role sounds like the right next step in your career but your experience doesn’t match perfectly with the job advert, we encourage you to still apply.

Struggling to complete our application form, and require additional support? Reach out to our Talent Acquisition team at who will be happy to help you with alternative ways to apply.

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