An academic health science network has advertised for a procurement specialist to work with a consortium it claims has won four major contracts to buy goods for the NHS.

Oxford AHSN posted an advert on the NHS Jobs website for a deputy director of clinical procurement, as part of a “new commercial venture” for the organisation.

The advert said the AHSN is a “key subcontractor” to a joint venture called HST, comprising DHL and Vizient, and DHL, which are “contracted by the Department of Health for 3-5 years to deliver procurement savings in four category towers”. However, the DH has not publicly announced this.

The category towers are part of the DH’s new procurement model for the NHS.

HSJ revealed last week that contracts for six of the 10 towers were set to be awarded to a DHL led consortium and the NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership. These two bidders combined already hold a significant proportion of the market share in the procurement of goods covered by the model.

HSJ put the information in the advert to the DH, but a spokeswoman said no contracts have been awarded and commercially confidential discussions were still taking place.

DH officials have previously said no organisation can run more than three towers.

The job advert, which is no longer online, did not say which towers the consortium has won.

It said the AHSN will develop “clinical councils” made up of clinicians from up to 10 “reference trusts”. The councils will provide “clinical leadership to inform the procurement process”.

The AHSN plans to develop eight clinical councils and subgroups for four category towers. Eight clinical council chairs and 10 or more clinicians will be recruited for each clinical council.

Last month Howard Blackith, the DH’s procurement transformation lead, said clinical input to the procurement towers will be provided from the body overseeing them.

The AHSN’s deputy director of clinical procurement will lead a team of 10 whole time equivalent staff and oversee a budget of up to £1.5m.

“This is a new commercial venture for Oxford AHSN and is expected to make a significant financial contribution towards sustaining Oxford AHSN and in building its reputation in the NHS,” the advert added.

The network refused to comment when contacted by HSJ yesterday.

Contracts for the 10 category towers were put on the market last year.

The towers, which can also be described as categories of goods and services, have been split into six medical and four non-medical groups.

They range from common goods, low and high value healthcare consumables, capital equipment such as MRI and CT scanners, and other services such as food and hotels.

Crown Commercial Service began operating an 11th tower, covering office supplies, this month.