Skip to main content
Procurement Working PartyProcurement Working Party Archive

Update on Category Management Service Providers – Medical Consumables Categories

By November 10, 2022No Comments

As you may know, NHS Supply Chain is currently evolving the design of its Target Operating Model and as part of the procurement process, we are looking to change our service provider model by implementing a new category management service with five distinct categories. We have announced that three of the new category groupings would be directly managed by NHS Supply Chain: Capital Equipment, Medical Devices and PPE.


The procurement exercise is underway for medical consumables, food and non-medical supplies and tender responses have been received for the four lots. The procurement is following the Competitive Procedure with Negotiation process and initial bid evaluation and moderation has been completed and the first review gateway reached.


Following a thorough evaluation of the tender responses we have taken the decision to stop the Category Management Service Provider procurement on Lot 1 (Surgical Products and Consumables) and Lot 2 (Rehabilitation and Community). These categories will now transfer into the central NHS Supply Chain team, that is SCCL, on 1 May 2023.


We are now operating in a more challenging economic environment, and we need to simplify how we operate and partner more expertly with our stakeholders. The NHS needs us to:


  • deliver greater value from these critical categories for our NHS partners. Through transferring these categories inhouse we will have direct control which will allow us to partner more expertly with stakeholders on the development of category strategies.
  • provide a more resilient supply chain. Given the unprecedented global challenges that are continuing to impact supply chains following COVID-19, EU Exit and the war in Ukraine, having direct control over these categories will support us to provide a more resilient supply chain. We will be able to work more strategically with those suppliers whose product portfolios cross different categories. This will simplify the way we work with suppliers.
  • enhance commercial capability through the creation and implementation of the Procurement Centre of Excellence within the central NHS Supply Chain team. The Procurement Centre of Excellence will create the standard for NHS Supply Chain in Category Management, Strategic Procurement, Sourcing, and Supplier Relationship Management, building on the foundations that already exist within the organisation. Transferring these categories inhouse will deliver efficiencies which will save the NHS money and allow us to invest in developing enhanced capacity and capability

We have successfully transferred two towers inhouse this year:


Working in collaboration with DHL, Tower 7 – NHS Supply Chain: Large Diagnostic Capital Equipment Including Mobile and Services on the 1 July of this year.


Tower 4 – NHS Supply Chain: Orthopaedics, Trauma and Spine, and Ophthalmology – on 1 November working in collaboration with CPP.



Next steps:


  • We are continuing the procurement process for the remaining lots, Lot 3 (Food) and Lot 4 (Facilities, including Office Solutions) and these categories will continue to be delivered through a service provider model, overseen by NHS Supply Chain.
  • As previously communicated the proposal is to transfer the PPE categories on 1 February 2023 and Towers 6 and 8 on 1 May 2023.
  • It’s proposed that Towers 1, 2, 3, 5 will also transfer on 1 May 2023.

All of these category and tower transfers are key to implementing the next iteration of NHS Supply Chain’s operating model and our long-term vision and strategy to ensure that we align with the strategic priorities of the wider NHS so that we can bring greater value to the health and care system and make it easier for the NHS to put patients first.


We thank our service providers for all their hard work and commitment in supporting our NHS to deliver excellent patient care.


All existing contracts and frameworks for our suppliers will remain until any formal renewal or extension of them is announced in line with normal contract expiry dates.


Suppliers who have any specific contract questions can approach their normal Category Buyer, but should they have any questions regarding the above announcement then they should send those to

Natalie Creaney