02 October 2003 | David Arminas
Oxfordshire County Council has created a head of strategic procurement post in an effort to build a strong purchasing team.
Stuart Rowe, who moves from Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust to the council at the end of October, said the new role is to decide on an overall council procurement strategy.
"There is no decision on whether purchasing will be devolved or centralised and the best model will be looked at carefully," he said.
Rowe is presently assistant director of finance for procurement and supply at the hospitals group, but is a purchaser by profession with an MBA in business strategy and procurement from the University of Birmingham.
Rowe stressed the importance of a sound business background combined with a thorough knowledge of procurement good practice to succeed as a head of strategic procurement.
He is also on part-time secondment to Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority, where he is leading a project to develop an NHS supply management confederation - basically a buying consortium. It will have an annual budget of £1.6 billion.
He has spent the past eight years in NHS procurement setting up teams where none has existed in hospital trusts.