Our Procurement Department comprises of 9 different categories. Despite the different functions of each category we all work together to procure goods and services for the NHS organisation. I currently work for NHS London Procurement Partnership which is based in London. If I had to use one word to describe my organization, it would have to be “Welcoming”.
The scheme allows me to undergo rotations across the different categories, and I get to spend 2 or 3 months with each team. This gives me a fantastic opportunity to learn in depth about their work, and hopefully allows me to decide which category makes me thrive so that I can aim to specialize in this area.
My first rotation was with the Workforce Alliance Category, this team are responsible for establishing sources to fill in NHS staff vacancies. Commencing the Scheme with very little knowledge in this area, I was immediately exposed to different concepts including “Frameworks” these are agreements between the NHS (as the buyer) and suppliers, these enable us to place orders for goods or services without conducting a long tender exercise.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to act as an evaluator for a piece of work they were auctioning. The potential suppliers submitted responses to a set of questions. I next had to score their responses, subsequently we moderated my results with a colleague to ensure the final score was fair. The evaluator I worked when moderating my output was an experienced member of our Procurement team, I learnt from her how to tackle procurement at a different angle.
My next rotation was with the Customer Facing team. Here we communicate with our customers and ensures that all parties are satisfied. I learnt how the Customer team play a vital role in generating income for the Trust as we have several customers that pay a membership fee to obtain our services. This rotation allowed me to join meetings with our customers and I learnt how both parties communicate effectively and the terminology used. It was certainly a great experience that allowed me to work in the office and the field as well.