Comment / Inclusive agenda

20 September 2022 Mark Knight

Mark KnightAt an excellent evening celebrating the 70th anniversary of the association (two years late due to Covid), we honoured key contributors and awarded honorary fellowships to those stepping back from frontline HFMA service.

These are small tokens of appreciation to members, some of whom have given a career-long commitment to the HFMA – though they all say the association has been an invaluable resource in their career.

As you may be aware, we opened up free membership of the association to agenda for change bands 2 to 6 at the December annual general meeting. I wrote at the time that our purpose was to become more diverse, younger and broadly focused on more than the most senior roles in NHS finance. We have not had time to evaluate that aim conclusively, but we appear to be making good progress.

One thing I know for sure is that we have reached our other stated aim – to match the number of bands 2 to 6 to the current ‘paying’ membership. In fact, we’ve exceeded that goal.

Another change we’ve made came as a result of someone stopping me at the West Midlands Branch conference in June and asking why we excluded apprentices. The short answer is we don’t. We currently have 56 in membership and we’re looking for more, so please pass on the member link to your apprentices. Our trustees want to create a big, inclusive movement, so the more bands 2 to 6 we can reach, the better.

Our thoughts are on our extensive events programme. There are a few hub face-to-face events, but many are still online following extensive consultation with each group. As you are all aware, Covid is very much still with us so we’re being characteristically cautious and hoping to do more face-to-face early in 2023.

One event that is now firmly hybrid is, of course, our annual conference and we will be running that as usual in December. The main brochure for the event will be out soon and provides the last opportunity to book. I hope you’ll be able to join us in person or take part in the online event. Look out for announcements of speakers soon.

All in all, the HFMA looks in good shape for the future. I’m pleased to say that 110 Rochester Row, our London venue and meeting rooms, is back up fully running and the team there are doing an excellent job.

We have also settled into our new office in Bristol. So if you come to the city and are curious to see it, it’s less than 10 minutes’ walk from Temple Meads station.

We have just revealed our key objectives for the next three years. We continue to be focused on meeting the needs of members. If you would like to be more involved, why not reach out to your branch or get in touch with us.