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Head of Category – Diagnostics, Equipment & Services

Job Posted: 2 November 2023
Job Updated: 22 November 2023

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Job Title: Head of Category

Function: Commercial – Diagnostics, Equipment & Services

Location: Hybrid / Role can be based from any of our locations (Nottingham, Alfreton, Leeds, Chester). 

Type:  Permanent

Job Ref: 584

Salary: £85,000 with the potential to rise to £100,000 over 3 years.

Closing Date: Saturday 25th November 2023


We have an exciting opportunity for a Head of Category in the Diagnostics, Equipment & Services category.


What does a Head of Category do at NHS Supply Chain?


The Head of Category is responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of category strategies to improve the supply chain, reduce risk, create competitive advantage and deliver cost savings/value. Through a focus on product range, offers and how products are brought to market, and in close collaboration with key stakeholders, create product groups and ensure procurements that maximise value both for customers and the organisation.


Responsibilities include:


Strategy and Policy Development – Lead the development and implementation of strategy for the categories, anticipating complex issues, challenges, and opportunities, and ensuring integration with wider NHS Supply Chain strategy.

Category Management – Manage the delivery of a major part of the organisation’s category strategy in accordance with the NHS Supply Chain procurement strategy ensuring realisation of synergies, like cost savings and risk reduction, and optimisation of the category value, taking personal responsibility for a number of critical categories.

Innovation – Identify new external developments and emerging issues within the industry and evaluate their potential impact on, or usefulness to, the NHS.

Advise – 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.

Communication – Identify and manage stakeholders up to management level, finding out their needs/issues/concerns and reacting to these by leading and coordinating the development of stakeholder engagement plans to support the communication of business information and decisions.

Customer Needs Clarification – Consult with a range of customer representatives at different levels to identify the outcomes they require, introducing relevant internal specialists and utilising their expertise to gather and analyse complex customer data, clarify mid- to long-term customer needs, and develop and agree to a specification of customer requirements.

Analytics and Data Science – Make authoritative recommendations that have a significant impact on the business over the short and long term.

Market Access – Build and optimise significant relationships and interactions with external and internal stakeholders, including key decision makers, regulators, public organisations, governmental institutions, providers, professional communities, and customer/client/patient groups.

Performance Management – Manage and report on performance within the area of responsibility; set appropriate performance objectives for direct reports and hold them accountable for achieving these; take appropriate corrective action where necessary to ensure the achievement of annual business objectives.

Leadership and Direction – Identify and communicate the actions needed to implement the function’s strategy and business plan within the business area; explain the relationship to the broader organisation’s mission, vision and values; motivate people to commit to these and to doing extraordinary things to achieve business goals.


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


You should be able to evidence your capability in the following skills and competencies

  • Manages Complexity – Makes sense of complex, high quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems
  • Developing Business Strategy – Lead a team to apply category management knowledge of customer and the marketplace to develop high quality strategies that clearly meet business objectives
  • Communicates Effectively- Develops and delivers multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
  • Organizational Savvy – Manoeuvres comfortably through complex policy, process, and people-related organisational dynamics. For example, has a firm grasp on organisational culture and politics; connects with key stakeholders and knows when to bring something to their attention.
  • Balances Stakeholders – Anticipates and balances the needs of multiple stakeholders. For example, provides guidance so that others understand the needs of different stakeholders and can balance them appropriately.
  • Persuades – Uses compelling arguments to gain the support and commitment of others.
  • Accountability – Holds self and others accountable to meet commitments.
  • Plans and Aligns – Plans and prioritises work to meet commitments aligned with organisational goals.
  • Collaborates – Builds partnerships and works collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Customer Focus – Builds strong customer relationships and delivers customer-centric solutions.
  • Decision Quality – Makes good and timely decisions that keep the organisation moving forward. 
  • Builds Effective Teams – Builds strong-identity teams that apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
  • Data Collection and Analysis – Acts as the organisational authority and established expert on analysing data trends for use in reports to help guide decision making.
  • Negotiation – 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. 
  • Action Planning – 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
  • How you’ll work


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

    Car Allowance 

    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

    SCCL is a not an NHS organisation, 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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