Get to Know Stephen Sercombe, Director of Procurement NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative

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 Stephen Sercombe.

Q: What is your background?

I’m originally from the Midlands, but I first came to Sheffield for university and like so many others fell in love with the place and stayed.  For me, it’s characterised by the great friendly people.  It’s also the greenest city in Britain with fantastic access to the Peak District and everything the great outdoors has to offer.

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

I’m Procurement Director at NOE CPC and I am part of the NHS Workforce Alliance Management Board.  I’m also involved with the Communications working group.  In those roles I get to see lots of different parts of the Alliance, how it all fits together, and hopefully making a positive contribution to how we continue to grow and evolve as a partnership.

Q: Why are you passionate about this?

Ultimately, we are here to provide a service to the NHS and support delivery of patient care.  Nothing has been more important for the country over the past two years than maintaining a functioning health service.  If NHS Workforce Alliance can make just a small contribution by supporting the NHS with some its workforce challenges then that has got to be positive and something we can all be passionate about.  

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

In terms of my role within NHS Workforce Alliance, I feel making sure we all pull together as one team and continuing to work on building a positive and proactive culture is something that is important for us all to always focus on.  We’ve made some really fantastic progress and achieved a lot in a short space of time, but bringing five public sector organisations together in a partnership around a common purpose is not easy and we will always need to continue to work at it, so we can continue to develop and get better as an Alliance.  

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

Apart from a paper round my first paid job was as a teenager working in the local Co-op in the evenings and on Saturdays.  I used to do grocery deliveries, loading and unloading in the warehouse, and also helping out in the butchers shop.  Later on when I first left university, I worked in a quality control role, and then as a part of a sales team.  That wasn’t really for me, but I got to work on the other side of the table from the buying teams at some of the major house builders, and that’s what initially sparked my interest in a career in procurement.

Q: How would you spend a perfect day off?

It would probably involve a combination of fresh air and food.  A trip to the Yorkshire coast for a stroll on the beach and Brigg at Filey followed by fish and chips would be nice.  Or maybe a bike ride in the Peak District followed by a pub lunch, just to refuel of course and replace all those lost calories and essential fluids.

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