Meet the Implementation and Adoption Team

  • 12/05/2023
  • Written by NOE CPC

An interview with Liessa Newnham

If you are a customer of NHS Supply Chain, you may have heard of or interacted with the Hotel Services Implementation and Adoption team, or I&A for short. They are a vital part of the team that delivers Hotel Services products into the NHS, such as cleaning supplies, catering equipment, furniture and more. They work closely with customers, procurement specialists and suppliers to ensure that the products meet the needs and expectations of the end users and that customers are made aware of the frameworks that we offer.

Liessa Newnham, the Head of Implementation and Adoption, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Hotel Services category and is passionate about communication and how it makes a difference in delivering better outcomes for customers and suppliers.

We had the opportunity to talk to Liessa and learn more about her role, her challenges, and her tips for effective communication. Here is what she shared with us:

Q: What does your role as the head of implementation and adoption involve?

My role is very diverse and involves a lot of communication with different stakeholders. My Team and I provide an interface between customers and the procurement category specialists, who are responsible for sourcing the best products at the best price. I also support customers with general enquiries, product information, savings opportunities, and presenting feedback by acting as a first point of contact for trusts and end users.

Sometimes my team and I are required to explain the complexities often involved in procurement and logistic processes. The balance that needs to be achieved between cost, service level and product specification, and why we may not have a particular item available like many supermarkets or online traders just yet.

I enjoy my role because it allows me to play a part in helping to build networks for customers to connect and supporting them to have a voice and route to give feedback and suggestions to those individuals in a position to implement change.

Q: What are some of the challenges you face in your role?

One of the main challenges is keeping up with the changing needs and expectations of customers and end users, especially in the Hotel Services category, which covers a wide range of products essential for the day-to-day running of NHS organisations. Some of these products may seem insignificant, but they have a huge impact on the quality of care and patient experience. For example, cleaning products are crucial for infection prevention and control, catering equipment affects food quality and nutrition, furniture affects comfort and safety. Therefore, it is important to understand the customer’s perspective and provide them with solutions and options that meet their requirements.

Another challenge is to balance the needs of customers with the constraints of procurement and logistics. Sometimes, there may be trade-offs between price, quality, and service level, which can affect customer satisfaction. However, the role my team and I play is to communicate these clearly and honestly with our customers, explain the reasons behind these issues, and reassure them of the action being taken to resolve them.

Q: How do you overcome these challenges?

Communication is key to overcoming these challenges and customers appreciate a speedy response. It helps to build trust, rapport, and understanding between different parties. It also helps to identify problems, find solutions and share best practices. Communication can take many forms, such as face-to-face meetings, phone calls, teams meetings, or a simple email exchange, but they are all equally important to ensuring an open two-way conversation. We also hold webinars and workshops to help get information out to our customer base. The core of what my team and I try to deliver to our customers is regular, consistent and effective communication.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about your team?

As the head of this small but effective team of five, I am proud that between us we are able to work across England as an interface between customers, category specialists and suppliers. We work closely with the NHS Supply Chain Customer Engagement Team and are in regular communication with our corresponding Customer Relationship Managers to ensure a joined-up approach when interacting with our NHS customers.

We support new framework launches and present savings and efficiency opportunities to customers by showing them how to optimise product usage, reduce waste and switch to greener or cheaper alternatives.

We develop strong partnerships with customers nationally and share their feedback with our category team and suppliers to improve products and identify innovation opportunities. We love being part of a friendly and dedicated team, and being able to contribute to the Hotel Services category strategy through customer research, data analysis and stakeholder engagement.

Implementation and Adoption Team's Regional Coverage

  • North East, Yorkshire and Humber, and North Lincolnshire – Saffron Stockwell
  • North West, West Midlands, and Black Country – Simon Pugh
  • Central and East Midlands, and the East of England – Jon Smith
  • Central London – Liessa Newnham
  • Southern England (including lower London) – Stephen Gomersall

If you would like to get in contact with Liessa Newnham or any other member of the Implementation and Adoption team for your region, please contact our helpdesk at

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