Our Procurement Solutions team is responsible for the procurement, development, delivery and day-to-day management of the NHS Shared Business Services Framework and Dynamic Procurement Systems (DPS) portfolio.
The team follows the principles of Category Management and is split into four categories:
Construction & Estates
Digital & IT
The Category teams are supported by the Sourcing & Compliance and Quality Assurance teams who ensure our framework agreements comply to PCR 2015, our own internal stringent policies and procedures, and that they reflect procurement best practice.
We manage approximately £3bn of spend and support over 500 customers across the NHS and wider public sector. We're successful because of our people
In the Procurement Solutions team, we make sure our people reach their full potential by providing expert training and development opportunities, including CIPS. We encourage innovative thinking and take pride in our culture of productivity, not presenteeism.
For the third year in a row, we have been certified as a Great Place To Work®, with employees particularly praising our approach to flexible working, recognition and reward initiatives, and our focus on wellbeing and diversity.
Hear from some of our colleagues
Alex Category Buyer
What’s your role at NHS SBS?
I'm a Category Buyer, supporting the higher management team by assisting with the day-to-day queries we get from both clients and suppliers. I get involved in the tendering processes in creating and renewing frameworks. This involves preparing official documents, attending client and supplier-focused meetings, and reviewing contracts and SLAs throughout the lifespan of the framework. I also complete contract management to ensure both parties of the contract are satisfied with what's being delivered.
When did you join? I joined the company in 2019 as it was recommended by somebody I previously worked with. I wanted to work for a company with a strong ethos, clear goals for the future, as well as progression opportunities.
Tell us about your career journey so far... I joined NHS SBS as a Transactional Procurement Partner which allowed me to learn and understand everything in and around Procurement. After two and a half years, I'd thoroughly enjoyed working for the company but felt I wanted a change. I found the internal process of applying for a position easy, as on a weekly basis an email is sent out advertising open opportunities. I submitted my application for the Category Buyer role and was quickly contacted by the Recruitment team who offered me an interview and kept me updated throughout the process.
What learning opportunities have you had at NHS SBS? Throughout my time working here, I have dedicated at least one hour a week to complete any training that I've felt I would benefit from. I've undertaken Accounting and cross-team training to get a better understanding of how the business operates. There are also opportunities to attend client sites and conferences – this is great as it shows you what impact our work has on patients' health and wellbeing.
What do you enjoy about your role? I love being involved as well as independent, and I think my current role of a Category Buyer allows me to be both. I'm trusted to make my own decisions and complete the job in my own way. I love that everyone is keen on sharing their knowledge which makes the job exciting. No two days are the same and I feel like I get to learn every single day.
What do you think makes NHS SBS different from other companies in the industry? Caring about their employees. It's so refreshing to work for a company who really stands behind their beliefs and practices them every day. The support given from everyone that you come across is really second to none. I feel that I, or anyone working for NHS SBS, can set out a clear career path for themselves and be fully supported with it.
NHS SBS is recognised as a Great Place to Work®, what do you personally think makes it so great? NHS SBS listens! Our feedback doesn’t go unheard. The company really does put so much time and effort into making this workplace work for the people within it. I also appreciate having monthly company meetings where business changes, developments and plans are discussed. It feels like there is transparency and everyone who works within NHS SBS is valued and listened to.
Brindsley Category Manager
What’s your role at NHS SBS? As a Category Manager, I am responsible for managing a specific category of products and services within that industry. I analyse industry trends, and consumer trends, and support strategy creation and marketing, as well as overseeing price and promotional activities that will aid in maximising sales through our framework agreement.
When did you join? I have been here since March 2018. I'd long wanted a career in Procurement and NHS Shared Business Services gave me the opportunity to ‘get my foot in the door’ and I haven’t looked back since.
Tell us about your career journey so far... I started my career as an entry level Junior Buyer. This gave me time to gather an understanding of public sector Procurement whilst working an administrative-focused role. I was then promoted to Category Buyer and my responsibilities were more around research and building relationships with suppliers and stakeholders, and generating leads for the Category Leads. This was followed by a promotion to Category Manager.
What learning opportunities have you had at NHS SBS? The company is committed to supporting and developing its people. Within our online portal there are different areas which can be focused on to help aid in development through online training and also external training, such as CIPS, which is subsidised by the company. I have been promoted three times in five years, which is testament to the faith the organisation has in the development of their employees to progress through the ranks.
What do you enjoy about your role? What I love most about my role is that everyday brings something different. It may be meetings with suppliers or going on a factory visit, going to exhibitions and events, engaging with trusts or working on projects. There are many roles in different industries that can be quite monotonous - this is not one of them! Most of all, it gives you a sense of pride knowing that your work is contributing to the success of the NHS, which ultimately will increase patient happiness.
What do you think makes NHS SBS different from other companies in the industry? NHS SBS is unique for its ability to go above and beyond for our clients. In my working life I have never worked for an organisation that is geared towards developing their employees like NHS SBS is. The person I am now in comparison to the person that started has really changed for the better and I've excelled in areas I never thought I would have, thanks to the organisation’s ethos.
NHS SBS is recognised as a Great Place to Work®, what do you personally think makes it so great? What makes the organisation a great place to work at is a combination of a few things. We have a great mix of personalities, a family atmosphere, great benefits, volunteering days, and flexible working hours.
Kate Senior Category Manager
What’s your role at NHS SBS? Hi, I’m Kate. As a Senior Category Manager in the Health team within Procurement Solutions, my role involves supporting the Head of Category to deliver the Health workplan. This involves the tendering of new and existing framework agreements, identifying new areas of spend, ongoing stakeholder engagement to deliver growth targets, and subsequent contract management. I manage a team of five Procurement professionals.
When did you join? I joined in November 2022 after being approached by a Recruiter who'd seen my profile on LinkedIn and thought my skillset and experience would be a good fit for the organisation. I was looking for further career development and some social interaction post-Covid.
Tell us about your career journey so far... I graduated from university with a BA Hons in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I intended to join the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as a Profiler but the only role they had at the time was in Procurement. They offered for me to complete my CIPS and I found the project management style role suited my personality and skillset. After two years as a Procurement Assistant, I applied for a role at NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership as a Category Buyer, where I worked for five years. I then moved to Welsh Government as part of their National Procurement Service as a Category Manager, before being promoted to Senior Category Manager in 2016.
What learning opportunities have you had at NHS SBS? I've been pleasantly surprised by the amount invested in my personal learning and development since joining. I've been encouraged to get involved in a number of interesting projects and have recently finished a 6-month Management Essentials Programme Training Course, which I found very rewarding and insightful.
What do you enjoy about your role? My daughter was very unwell when she was 8 months old, so being in a role that ultimately helps the NHS to save money that can be reinvested back into front-line services is really important to me on a personal level and I get a massive amount of job satisfaction from it.
What do you think makes NHS SBS different from other companies in the industry? I think being part owned by Sopra Steria means that NHS SBS can be more flexible with service delivery, recruitment and staff retention. The recognition scheme being a great example, where you can award vouchers to your colleagues for living the company values.
NHS SBS is recognised as a Great Place to Work®, what do you personally think makes it so great? As a working Mum of two young children, I've found the company’s approach to flexible working to be on par, if not better, than other organisations I've worked for. I appreciate the opportunity to purchase additional Annual Leave days to help with school holidays and my line manager has also made sure I'm aware of our Carer's Leave allowance, which could support my current situation. I've found everyone to be really welcoming and supportive since joining and would definitely recommend this as a great place to work.
Senior Construction Specialist
Hi, I'm Anjub and I'm classed as the subject matter expert for Construction within Procurement Solutions. I see it as being able to 'speak the language of construction' while working on procurement projects.
I joined in 2021 as I wanted to help support the NHS and also create a better work-life balance for myself. I started as an Architect for private sector clients, then moved to Development Management. Now I'm delivering strategic procurement projects and frameworks for the public sector.
Variety is the spice of life, and no two days are the same here. We're internationally recognised and working at high standards. It's fast-paced with lots of opportunities for self-development and growth. There are lots of open doors for learning and I'm currently undertaking my CIPS training to better understand Procurement.
I enjoy working here as there are great people who are team-orientated and respect each and every one’s background and ability.
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