Making finance work in the NHS

Advanced certificate - core module
20 credits, total study time: 200 hours (17 weeks)

In a rapidly changing NHS, this module gives the context for understanding healthcare  business and finance. This is key to recognising how finances and financial pressures can affect patients. The NHS must do things differently – this means working increasingly closely with social care, finding new ways of delivering care and, in England, the urgent implementation of the Five Year Forward View. This module will help learners to understand who does what and why in the NHS and how the money flows from HM Treasury to NHS organisations. It will also provide insight into what needs to change and the barriers to making that happen. 

Topics covered

  • NHS finance – structure, funding, revenue and capital allocations and reimbursement
  • Understanding of how the four home nation systems compare and contrast
  • NHS service planning, joint working across local health economies
  • Primary care finance
  • The provider financial regime
  • Integration of the various health services and their relationship with social care

Learning outcomes
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the ways in which healthcare in the UK is structured and funded
  • Critically appraise how the English system compares with that of other Home Nations
  • Evaluate the approach taken by the NHS to revenue and capital allocation
  • Research, assess and critique the strengths and weaknesses of funding flows within a local health economy
  • Critique how finance works within the NHS in the UK and recommend improvements to the current system


  • An assignment with a total word count of 4,000 words based on a local health economy within the UK

Managing the healthcare business
Optional module


Comparative healthcare systems 
Optional module


Personal effectiveness and leadership 
Optional module

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