Get to Know Howard Rolfe, Managing Director, East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub

The ‘Get to Know’ series showcases staff from around the NHS Workforce Alliance to give you a glimpse of the variety of roles in our organisation, and the people who perform them.

This month, we’re pleased to introduce Howard Rolfe, Managing Director at the East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub. 

Q: What is your background?

After University I joined Marks and Spencer as a Management Trainee and stayed there for 30 years. During that time, I was seconded to the Cabinet Office where I undertook a review into procurement in the NHS on behalf of the Treasury and the Department of Health. A consequence of the review was the creation of PASA (Purchasing and Supply Agency)

Along the way, I have been the Leader of a District Council and a Non-Executive Director at Royal Papworth Hospital.

Q: What is your role within the NHS Workforce Alliance, and what does it involve?

I am now Managing Director at the East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub. This involves the welfare and job enjoyment of the staff, the satisfaction of our customers, the respect of our peers, and the trust of the centre. Within the Alliance, I am a member of the Executive Board and chair of the Communications committee.

Q: Why are you passionate about this?

It is a stimulating, varied and rewarding role; I am lucky to be working with a great team and great colleagues.

Q: What is the greatest challenge you face at work?    

The biggest challenge of the job is to be continually adapting to changing circumstances and always delivering what the customer wants.

Q: What was your first job, and how has it impacted your career?       

M&S was, and hopefully still is, passionate about the customer and this has stayed with me whether in retail, politics (the voter), or the NHS (the patient and now the trusts/ICSs). Always listen to the customer and not just the loudest voices.

Q: How would you spend a perfect day off?

I have three children and seven grandchildren, all under five, so they should come into it. I had a great day at my eldest daughter’s wedding and another daughter gets married this summer so I hope that will be a nice day too.

Watching cricket at Lords with a beer in hand is good, and so is Tottenham beating Arsenal 4-0. However, throughout my working life, I have tried to leave the pressures of the week behind by unwinding on a Sunday, so I guess a perfect day is emptying my mind in the garden or on a beach.

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