Obituary: Paul Briddock

01 March 2021

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Mr Briddock qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1993, passing all professional body examinations at the first attempt, while working at Coopers & Lybrand. But he soon moved into the NHS, where he quickly built a strong reputation in NHS finance.

Initially, he joined the then Sheffield Children’s NHS Trust as a financial accountant in 1994. He stayed with the trust for 10 years, rising through the ranks to deputy director of finance in 1997 and then director of finance in 1999. As finance director, his achievements included the delivery of annual surpluses, income growth, and leading a number of successful capital schemes.

Mr Briddock left Sheffield Children’s in 2003 to take up the director of finance and contracting post at Chesterfield Royal Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. There, he built on his reputation as a strong financial leader who developed good relationships with commissioners and oversaw a major capital investment programme to rebuild and refurbish the hospital estate.

After a spell as the trust’s acting chief executive, he added deputy chief executive to his finance and contracting portfolio, leading the trust’s transformation programme, with £6.5m of savings delivered in 2013/14. The programme also identified savings opportunities of between £35m and £59m over the following five years.

A stalwart of HFMA committees throughout his NHS career, Mr Briddock chaired the FT Technical Finance Group for six years, and led the association’s Payment by Results Group.

In December 2013, he joined the HFMA as head of policy and technical, leading its policy, technical and research work, and acting as the association’s spokesperson in the media and at conferences. He also helped develop and led the HFMA Healthcare Costing for Value Institute.

HFMA chief executive Mark Knight said it had been a privilege to have such an experienced finance director working as part of the HFMA staff. ‘We had lots of great times working together. Paul fit really easily into the HFMA family,’ he said. ‘But I also remember him for his insightfulness and steady contribution to our executive team.’

After leaving the HFMA in 2017, Mr Briddock rejoined the NHS as director of finance for NHS England (North Midlands).

He was a devoted fan of Sheffield United FC and a keen cyclist. He combined the two in 2015 and 2016 in the Tour de Blades – long-distance charity rides where he represented the club, raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

Former colleagues remembered him warmly. Former HFMA chair Eric Morton appointed him finance director at Chesterfield. ‘Paul was already a well-respected director of finance at a small specialist trust,’ said Mr Morton.

‘He grew into an accomplished director who gained the respect and affection of his colleagues at Chesterfield but also across the wider NHS. He was a reliable and perceptive finance director who had strong ethics and built up strong relationships within finance but also across all disciplines of staff.

‘He had a keen sense of humour, which I assumed was a direct result of his dedicated following of Sheffield United. From his early days, he engaged widely in HFMA matters and became a strong advocate. He was a committed finance professional who leaves a strong legacy with those of us who were proud to have worked closely with him.’

Another former Chesterfield colleague, Ken Godber, said: ‘Paul convinced me to put myself forward to chair the HFMA Charitable Funds Committee and it has been a very enjoyable and rewarding part of my career. Paul was a great boss, a great director of finance who continued to be a mentor to me, and a great friend.’obit_briddock_fincare 94_landscape

Keely Firth first met Mr Briddock in the mid-1990s, but their paths crossed again when she joined the HFMA FT Technical Finance Group and later when she became a trustee of the association. ‘Paul was passionate about the NHS, very proud of his three girls and of course a loyal Sheffield United supporter,’ she said.

Lee Bond worked with him for nearly 10 years in Sheffield, and they kept in touch as their careers progressed. ‘He remained a close friend and a staunch supporter of all I have done in my career. He was 100% professional when it came to work and while I didn’t always agree with how he did some things, I would never criticise why he did them. He was my teacher, my mentor, a good friend, and I will miss him dearly.’

*(picture above) Paul Briddock (centre) with colleagues at the HFMA 1994 Fincare campus