President's tour: London

by Mark Orchard

13 June 2017


I am writing this on the Monday after the general election result the Friday before. And being the first speaker at the HFMA London Branch conference, just a short walk away from Downing Street, I felt a responsibility to acknowledge the shock from delegates trying to fathom what happens next.

Of course, none of us really knows. Perhaps more importantly, none of us can directly control any of this now. So the logical conclusion seemed to be: stay focused and keep delivering for those services we are responsible for. Control the controllables, as someone once said.

Anyway, Bob Alexander – NHS Improvement’s director of resources and deputy chief executive – was next to speak after me. I knew that one of our hugely respected system leaders could be relied upon to say what needed to be said. And as always, Bob didn't let us down in that department.

Although I am now six months into my 12 month presidential term, this is only the second branch conference that I have addressed to date. That is not because I have missed anywhere you understand – after all, 'everyone counts' remember. But this year, the timing of many of the branch conferences is somewhat skewed towards the second half of the calendar year. I still plan to get to all 13 UK conferences this year of course.

What hits you as a visiting speaker is just how much work goes on at branch level to keep the local networks alive. This branch has an active annual programme with around six events every year.

Today, Andrew Holden chaired what would be his last conference as branch chair having served London members for nine years. Thank you Andrew. That role has now passed seamlessly to Kate Anderson to whom we gave a very warm welcome. Kate has pledged that one of her main objectives as chair will be to further broaden the London membership base.

My next stop takes me to the West Midlands and then later at the end of this month I will also be addressing the North West - two branch conferences that I have had the privilege of speaking at previously, in promoting the early launch of Future-Focused Finance several years ago. I very much look forward to returning.

For now, as I travel by train back home I reflect that London is in safe hands. This branch has an important part to play in supporting colleagues to shape and deliver London's future. 


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