Finance Leadership Council – Update by Peter Ridley

The last meeting of the Finance Leadership Council took place on May 10th which I was delighted to chair. We had a packed agenda of wide ranging topics with a range of excellent and insightful presentations and discussions.

National Programme Updates and 2022-23 Plans

Our first agenda item gave our three national programme chairs the opportunity to update on the progress in each of their areas since launch. Alongside the programme updates, the chairs outlined their draft plans for 2022-23 which build on the work developed to date. FLC approved all of the plans which will be worked up into detailed programmes through each of the Finance Leadership Groups in June. You can read the full updates from the national programmes and draft plans for the year ahead via these links for the Finance Innovation Forum, Future-Focused Finance and the National Finance Academy.  

Our last agenda item in this section was to sign off the 2021-22 Annual Report. I am really pleased with the achievements our programmes and networks have made since launching last September. We are looking forward to working closely with the finance community to continue strengthening and developing each offering over the coming year. The programme leads will be providing updates on their progress and outlining the plans for the coming year at an event from 14:30 – 15:30 on June 10th which you can book via this link.

Communications and Engagement Strategy

Next on the agenda was to review the draft communications and engagement strategy for the programme. We know that getting this right is key to ensuring that everyone working across NHS finance is aware and knows how to access the opportunities available to them through all of the One NHS Finance programmes. FLC will be working with the Central Team to deliver the action plan set out in the strategy over the next 12 months.

Regional Board Development and Engagement

We know that successful delivery of our National Finance Development strategy and EDI action plan can only be achieved through strong regional engagement and the development of regional One NHS Finance boards. FLC reviewed the current development of these boards and outlined a commitment to supporting their development of these. We will be reviewing progress to help address any regional disparities and measure the engagement and success of each regional delivery mechanism at future FLC meetings.

Developing Efficiency and Productivity

In April 2022 the Revenue Finance and contracting guidance for 2022/23 was published. Under the section header ‘Efficiency and Productivity’, it states that

“with the support of the Finance Innovation Forum, NHS England and NHS Improvement will also share specific programmes and innovations implemented by systems or trusts that have delivered efficiency and productivity benefits locally and are of wider benefit. Systems should review these examples of innovation, determine the subset they intend to implement locally and feedback on the impact so evidence continues to be collected around specific interventions.”

The Finance Innovation Forum’s Innovation Programme, we are working to collect examples of these, with 21 submissions currently categorised as ‘efficiency innovations’. FLC are keen to drive engagement with this programme, and generate new innovations and submissions for the programme to validate, and evidence local efficiency specific learning, development, and innovation.

Accreditation Applications

Our final agenda item was to sign off the new Towards Excellence Accreditation applications. We received new 16 applications since the last meeting in January, 12 at Level 1, 3 at Level 2 and 1 Level 3. FLC reviewed the applications which were all approved. There are now more NHS organisations that have received Towards Excellence Accreditation than haven’t, with Level 1 now being recognised as a standard that all organisations should be achieving. I’d like to congratulate all of the organisations involved.

Peter Ridley, Deputy Chief Financial Officer – Operational Finance, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Vice-Chair of the FLC.