NHS buyers attain a new role

1 April 2011

3 April 2011 | Lindsay Clark

Purchasers from an NHS procurement hub that is now defunct are joining a newly-formed company that will advise doctors on how to buy health services.

NHS re:source, the East Midlands procurement hub, has been a victim of changes to the health service, but for assistant director of procurement Chris Spark, redundancy has led to a new career opportunity.

He has taken a role as associate director of Attain, a new consultancy and service provider with a mission to help NHS organisations and GPs improve their procurement and commissioning in the health service model being introduced by the coalition government.

Also moving from re:source to Attain is category manager Stephen Harratt, who won the 2010 CIPS young purchasing and supply professional of the year title, and assistant director of procurement Christian Walker, who helped create the web technology for commissioners that scooped us the best use of technology gong in 2009 CIPS Supply Management awards.

“I’m very excited about it,” Spark told SM. “For me this has come at a really good time. Over the past year to 18 months, I have become more and more frustrated with the NHS and its politics and bureaucracy. I joined the NHS to make a difference, but now I feel that being outside of the system, along with the rest of my team, I’ll be able to make a really impact on healthcare.”

More procurement professionals could see career opportunities the other side of the public-private divide, Spark told SM. “Everyone will have different wants and needs and aspirations, but the public sector is going to be a changing environment over the next few years and I think that some people will decide it’s time to move on and try something different.”

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