Protected time for Finance staff development

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, South West, Integrated Trust

The problem

Following overwhelming feedback from finance staff in Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), the finance directors of the NHS organisations including the community interest company agreed to protect half a day a month for any activity that sat under the umbrella of finance staff development (FSD). Whether it supported a member of staff with their own individual development or allowed networks of staff to come together at a common time, the innovation has provided permission to all finance staff that the organisations are fully behind all forms of finance skills development.

The challenges

The organisations that make up the system needed to find a way to give staff protected time to undertake development opportunities whether individually or as part of cross-organisational teams because otherwise finance staff were saying that they did not have the time or capacity to support FSD.
Too often staff were not prioritising FSD activities and felt overwhelmed by the continued ask to participate in FSD when the day-to-day job was too busy
The sharing of expertise across organisational boundaries was weak and a silo mentality existed across the system.
NHSE colleagues that linked into the system felt isolated from the BNSSG system and wanted to feel that they were part of something instead of being perceived as the region and sitting outside systems.

What were/are the outputs?

A finance function which now believes that organisations are here to support in their development. We have got involvement from finance staff who were reluctant to get involved and we are hopeful that the energy that this has created will create opportunities for all grades of staff.

What were/are the outcomes?

• Energised finance staff work force
• Reducing the number of finance vacancies across the system
• Increasing the diversity of our workforce

The Innovation

Read the full innovation on Protected time for Finance staff development

All documents and resources relating to this innovation can be found in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This is really easy to implement and gives a real sense that staff development is important to directors of finance, and therefore giving permission to staff.”

“I would love to see this in place across the whole finance team in every organisation.”

“I think the innovation is a great idea which addresses the challenge of staff development.”

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