EoE Academy Board Blog: Matt Gibbons

Hello, my name is Matt Gibbons and I’m currently the Director of Finance at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHSFT.  This is a combined Trust which brought together the former Luton and Dunstable and Bedford Hospitals in 2020. As you can imagine, taking two hospitals through a merger process during Covid was a significant challenge, and it showed me just how effective and adaptable finance people can be during a time of crisis.

Joining from the Graduate Training Scheme in 2002, I’ve spent my time to date working at Luton and Dunstable Hospital and subsequently Bedfordshire Hospitals.  I didn’t expect to stay in one place, but I’ve been fortunate to find opportunities to progress within the Trust where I started and was appointed Director of Finance in 2020 following a short acting up period.  My portfolio covers Finance and Procurement and I’m also the Sustainability Champion for the Trust which is a great way of getting involved with wider operational teams as well as making a difference on this important agenda.  Over the years I have been involved in many projects at the Hospital, including achieving Foundation Trust status in 2006, the successful bid for capital funding for our £150m Acute Services Block and of course the merger application to become Bedfordshire Hospitals.  Although NHS funding arrangements have changed over the years, the importance of clear, accurate, well-presented data has been consistent and I still enjoy the challenge of presenting finance information in a user-friendly way!

I’ve always had an interest in staff development, so when the former East of England Regional Director of Finance, Jeff Buggle, asked me to represent the region on the Finance Leadership Group (FLG) for Future Focussed Finance I was delighted to accept.  Future Focussed Finance is responsible for developing, connecting and supporting our finance community, taking forward important initiatives such as Towards Excellence Accreditation, networks including Value Makers and promoting NHS careers.  Being part of the East of England Finance Academy Board helps me to link this national work with what’s going on at a regional level.  One of the things I most enjoy about my job is seeing my staff grow and develop, and the resources and initiatives I see as part of the FLG inspires me to continue to champion staff development.  I was so pleased when one of my team, Sonya Carey, won a Value Makers award for her dedication as a Finance and Clinical educator. She devotes a lot of her time to educating colleagues about finance and raises awareness of the network and the benefits it has across our organisation and others.

I’m going to take the opportunity of writing this blog to congratulate all the local organisations who have taken up the challenge of pushing forward with their accreditation.  In the East of England we’re in the positive position of having so many organisations progressing onto levels 2 and 3 that we need more assessors; I would encourage you to get involved – it’s a great way to meet people from across the NHS and there’s always something to ‘steal with pride!’

Thanks for reading this far.  I’d really like to hear from you, whether you work in my local system of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes or the wider East of England please get in touch if you want to know more about future focussed finance, what it’s like to be on a national committee or have some comments to feed in to the national work. 

All the Best