EoE Academy Board Blog: Dawn Scrafield

Hi everyone! I’m Dawn Scrafield, Chief Finance Officer and I’m proud to have worked in the NHS for almost 27 years within the East of England Region. I have been fortunate to have been part of the HFMA for most of my career and for the last 3 ½ years had the privilege of chairing the Eastern Branch.

As a relatively shy person, the thought of networking terrified me when I started in the early days of my career. The sense of achievement to complete a piece of work was far greater than forcing myself to connect with others… and then I found HFMA. I joined when I was just finishing my qualification and found a way to continue to learn and grow, not just to fuel my knowledge base but also develop my networking skills which has been invaluable to develop in my career.

As I stand down from the role of HFMA Eastern Branch Chair and hand over to the lovely David Bacon (Director of Finance Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust), I am pleased to be working with Linda Goodey who is also a member of the Eastern Branch as we explore ways to increase the connectivity amongst the finance community, through purposeful social engagement! Watch this space and let me know if you are interested in helping 😊

Our NHS finance community is envied by other professional services supporting the delivery of NHS care. I strongly believe in the evidence that better connected teams are more successful – the finance community in the NHS is a big team. The financial climate and political turbulence is challenging even for most experienced and resilient of us. So in this context, we need to connect, to share ideas and understanding, to identify solutions and to challenge our thinking. That is why I make time to get involved with the Academy in our region, in our HFMA and locally leading our Gender Equality Network – if we do what we have always done, we will always get the same result; we have to change.   I’m privileged to be the East of England representative on the National Finance Leadership Council (FLC) which is chaired by Julian Kelly.  Being part of FLC gives me an opportunity to influence the national work on One NHS Finance and I’m looking forward to hearing the latest views from across our finance teams as part of the second engagement exercise which is taking place in summer 2023.

At the time of writing this blog, my Trust and system is in significant deficit. Having successfully supported and led financial recovery in the past, I am finding it frustrating that approaches that have succeeded in the past are not gaining the traction. There is no doubt the environment and context in which we are working has changed and we need to do something different. The Academy is an exciting way to help us exceed our potential, both individually and collectively, and I hope you will join me in growing new ways of thinking and working so we can excel as a finance community, supporting our colleagues provide sustainable NHS care in the future.



Read Dawn’s career story over on the NHS Finance Careers Website.