Get to Know Ryan Quinn, Category Procurement Specialist

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 our new Category Procurement Specialist – Ryan Quinn.

What is your background?  

I started my career in public sector procurement back in 2011 in the education sector and, barring a couple of years in the private sector, in the pharmaceuticals industry, I have spent my whole career in public sector procurement or category management roles across education, central government and the NHS. 

I have worked for the NHS for the past 7 years, in regional, local, and national roles, across NHS Supply Chain, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, NOE CPC and I am now adding working with the NHS Workforce Alliance to my resume! 

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

My role is Category Procurement Specialist and being relatively new to the role I am still getting to grips with some of the nuances of the day to day! I lead on Non-Clinical Staffing, Learning and Training Services, and Occupational Health services for NOE CPC as part of the wider Workforce Alliance. My role centres around all elements of category management but mainly focuses on elements such as supplier relationship management and supporting trusts with their procurement requirements and of course trying to absorb everything I can about my category areas to be a specialist in these

 Why are you passionate about this? 

Well, I always feel fortunate working for the NHS as I challenge anyone not to get on board with the aim of delivering first class patient care, so to be part of the NHS organisation is a big driver to be passionate about what I do.

If I was to be more specific, having been around NHS procurement for several years, I see the challenges across the board and to be able to be part of a team that can make even the smallest of improvements or ease some pressures in some way is something that I really get on board with. 

On a personal level, like a lot of people, the NHS has had a big impact on my life, right from being a young child, and have supported my family through the toughest of times. I feel really proud to work for the NHS. 

What is the greatest challenge you face at work? 

Answering this question with multiple NHS Procurement hats on I would say the biggest challenge is driving collaboration. Collaboration has always been a key word in the NHS procurement landscape, but I think really putting it into practice and getting to those positive outcomes, whatever the project might be, I have always found comes with lots of different challenges that can be tricky to navigate. Having only been part of this team for a short amount of time – I can see that this is something that is done really well here, so I’m looking forward to learning some lessons! 

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

My first job was working in a contracting team at YPO. The work itself gave me a great foundation to learn public contracting regulations and ultimately was a great introduction to procurement. I think more importantly, I was lucky to have a great mentor in my team who was really passionate about her role and the role that the team was there to do. I think that just being around and being able to learn from someone like that at the very beginning of your career sets you up to absorb some of those qualities to take forward, so I would say it had a big positive impact on my career to date.

How would you spend a perfect day off?

Anyone that knows me well will tell you I enjoy the simple things in life. I have a wonderful family, a wife and two little boys that I never quite feel I get to spend enough time with, so I would probably say getting out and doing something fun with the kids, probably a theme park! I would though be kidding myself if I didn’t throw in that a visit to the pub in the evening with a game of pool would probably be on the agenda!

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