Looking ahead

01 March 2021 Mark Knight

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Welcome to our first magazine of 2021. The team do a great job each week bringing you the very latest news and analysis via the Healthcare Finance weekly email, the website and the myHFMA app. But the quarterly print edition offers a longer read in a more traditional format.Mark Knight

As I said in a recent blog, the 2020 annual conference, held exclusively online, was a great success judging by the feedback. We recorded a 95% good or excellent rating – and the proportion of ‘excellent’ compared well with the face-to-face versions held in the past. 

It was a long old two weeks, but many have said it was more democratic and accessible. More than 2,700 people logged in as opposed to the normal attendance of 600-700. I would like to thank all our staff and our wonderful chairs, Caroline Clarke, Owen Harkin, Suzanne Robinson, Mark Orchard and Sandra Easton.

And so, on to 2021! The government has set out its roadmap to remove all restrictions by June. But this pandemic has tricked us many times along this journey and we just don’t know what the situation will be by December. However, with the marvellous NHS-driven vaccination programme going strong, we can have some confidence.  And while there may still be some social distancing rules around, hopefully much of this year’s annual conference will be able to go ahead in the normal way. 

So, we are intending to run a week of conference from 6 to 10 December. The plan is for a hybrid event. Monday to Wednesday will involve online sessions, with the face-to-face event, in a newly refurbished London Hilton Metropole, getting under way on the Wednesday afternoon. These live sessions will be streamed out for delegates’ colleagues watching back at the office. Please look out for how to take advantage of the early booker until 9 April.

A new initiative for us is a Membership Direct offering, where organisations pay for a block of individual memberships at a 15% discount. In return, organisations get a dedicated contact, who can co-ordinate membership centrally. At least 10 members have to enrol on the programme and employers can set up a system through their payroll to collect the fee. 

We expect several organisations to join this pilot and we are looking for more. For those that want it, it’s a way of paying for the professional development benefits for staff as well as an option for groups of staff to receive a regular 15% off their personal membership subscription.  For more information contact Danielle Lucas at [email protected].

On events, we continue with our usual programme, online of course – we are not planning to run anything face-to-face until at least September.  Subject to the rules, and of course how members feel, we will then continue in a hybrid way and will be investing in some kit to help live stream many of our events. 

Our policy team continues its excellent work and our presidential theme – Taking pride in our future – continues into a second year with a strong emphasis on digital and workforce.

One thing is certain: HFMA will continue to campaign for a funding settlement that will help the service build back, meeting the extra new needs it faces in the future. And for that we’ll need all your help!