President’s tour: East Midlands

by Mark Orchard

06 November 2017

Wow. Congratulations to the East Midlands Branch on putting on a first class annual branch conference at Holywell Park, Loughborough University. I was completely blown away by the professionalism and slickness of this event.

This is even more impressive when you consider that the East Midlands Branch is not overly reliant on the central HFMA team, but instead tends to work locally through a small number of dedicated and time-served volunteers.

One such individual is Joanne Kinsley, who supports the branch administration, while also managing support for the finance and performance team in her day job at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I know first-hand that Joanne's attention to detail was an asset in the run up to this event. Thank you for looking after me Jo.

I also have to single out Simon Crowther, director of finance at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who is now in his third year as HFMA East Midlands Branch chair. Simon is always very authentic and performed the master of ceremonies role extremely well in front of a packed room of engaged delegates.

Well done to Simon, Joanne and the branch committee. We all benefit greatly from the networking opportunities and learning from these events, which would not happen without the focus and effort that you invest on all our behalf. Thank you.

The title for the event was Count us in. This was chosen for good reason, not only to tie in generously with my presidential theme for the year of Everyone counts. It also recognises that NHS finance staff are facing huge financial pressures and are key to supporting our clinical colleagues with the operational challenges facing the service during this year and beyond.

The conference boasted a broad range of local keynote speakers, with a good mix between plenary and session choices. I was also fortunate to join a finance leaders meeting for all directors of finance and chief financial officers run in parallel to the workshop sessions.

I'm sure colleagues won't mind me saying that this session provided our East Midlands' senior finance leaders with a welcome opportunity to take stock and reflect on how best they can continue to support each other by maintaining their close network.

For me, this goes to the very heart of what HFMA and its branch networks can achieve by working together. This session was not short of energy, suggestions or volunteers to take forward actions that will pay back for the whole finance leadership group on both sides of the current commissioner and provider divide. Our professional network is alive and kicking in the East Midlands thanks to the individuals dedicated to being part of the glue that holds this together.

The other interesting difference between this branch conference and many others was the notable absence of national speakers. This branch has taken a deliberate decision to focus at this time on nurturing their local network, and given the positive vibes across the room this felt like a real success.

Following lunch, the HFMA East Midlands 2017 branch awards celebrated individuals and teams across six categories:

  • Unsung Finance Hero
  • Team of the Year
  • Innovation of the Year - team or individual
  • Student of the Year
  • Outstanding Leadership Contribution of the Year
  • Chairman's Award recognising contribution above and beyond

This event was certainly one of the highlights on my 2017 president's branch tour. Thank you for inviting me and keep up the good work you are all doing across the branch and on behalf of our association. I am very proud to represent you.

President's tour: Eastern
President's tour: Kent, Surrey and Sussex
President's tour: South West
President's tour: Wales
President's tour: North West
President's tour: London
President's tour Yorkshire and Humber
President’s tour: West Midlands
Presidents's tour: South Central
President’s tour: Scotland

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