The 12 days of conference

16 September 2020 Mark Knight

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What an extraordinary six months we’ve been through. When we reflect on the Covid-19 outbreak in future, we will probably regard it as a turning point in our history as a country and for us personally. For now, we are still in the middle of a crisis, which, although the severity may have reduced in some areas, is still very much with us.Mark Knight

During the pandemic, you will have been aware of the considerable output of HFMA policy and technical director Emma Knowles and her team. Much of this relates to Covid-19, including the regularly updated Covid-19 guidance map. For all the association's Covid-19-related output, visit the website.

Alongside this, the editorial team have recreated a new service, Healthcare Finance weekly, emailed to you every Friday. If you aren’t getting your copy, contact [email protected]. It has proved popular – keeping pace with a fast-changing agenda and helping to keep the finance function together when most people were working from home. 

That weekly bulletin is here to stay and the print magazine – which will now be published quarterly – will complement this news service, with more in-depth features and analysis.

The current crisis has hit the HFMA hard, with a deficit of about £750,000 for the year ending June 2020. We are working to a much-restricted budget for 2020/21, having regrettably lost 16 of our staff through redundancy and the rest having taken a temporary pay cut. 

We continue to provide members with the very best services we can and I’ve been impressed with HFMA staff’s adaptability and their knack for thinking outside the box.

However, by far our biggest challenge is still ahead of us. You won’t be surprised to hear that we have had to cancel our normal visit to the London Hilton Metropole for this year’s annual conference. But I’m delighted to announce that we will be running our event virtually this year.  The ‘12 days of conference’ will be just that – a feast of online content for 12 consecutive days between Monday 30 November and Friday 11 December.  Don’t worry, if you can’t catch it all live, you will be able to login at any point over the following 30 days to reprise the content. 

The conference is still being finalised, but expect workshop-style webinars and ‘main stage’ presentations and keynotes. One day will be curated by Future-Focused Finance. There will be a student day. And there will be service updates and motivational sessions – just as at the usual conference, something for everyone.

Most of the conference will take place in the afternoons and the pricing will be per organisation as the event is for the whole function, not for just the top echelons.

It will feature three of the usual stalwarts of the annual conference – there will be a prize draw, free to enter as always; it will feature the annual general meeting; and the HFMA Awards ceremony will be held on 10 December.

It has been a momentous year for the NHS and the finance function has played a significant part. It is right that the function should get together to share best practice, find inspiration and celebrate the best that finance has to offer.

And on the subject of the awards, the closing date is 2 October. There’s still time – and you’ve got to be in it, to win it! See you online soon…