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Learner Profiles

The HFMA Academy brings together people from different work experiences, ages and genders. Their perspectives and experiences of healthcare are what makes the live sessions more interesting and insightful.

Read some of the learner profiles to find out more about the people who are currently studying for the HFMA qualifications programme, their background & experience and how postgraduate study is supporting them in their career.

Andy Bell_circle

Andy Bell

Director of Finance
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

"I have always taken CPD seriously and was already starting to think about an MBA when the HFMA announced its own qualifications. Volunteering to test a module was immediately appealing, especially as it has been 10 years since I completed my accountancy qualification. It was an opportunity to test if the qualification was worthwhile and whether I could manage it alongside a busy day job. The time commitment – estimated at 13 hours a week – is a big consideration for undertaking studies alongside a full-time job.

The 'Creating and delivering value in UK healthcare' module is strategic and ties in well with what I do at work – perhaps even more so having stepped up from deputy finance director to acting director. There is a direct connection with the issues I am dealing with in my organisation and across the local system. The Academy's online portal and activity e-book approach is really helpful. I was worried I might be getting into something completely academic, but it has proven to be the polar opposite and is aimed at providing real practical support."

Sam Ball_circle

Samantha Ball

Head of Contract Governance
NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group

"I have worked in the NHS for 17 years, starting as a senior specialist dental nurse at Pennine Care Foundation Trust. In June 2015, I was successfully appointed as head of contract governance at Bolton CCG, where I continue to work. I now manage a small contract team which works in a matrix style, interlinking with all departments of the CCG to ensure holistic monitoring of all contracts with a focus on supporting achievement and therefore improving quality and patient experience.

I don’t have a finance qualification and therefore I was exploring potential courses that could support me in my role and came across the HFMA qualifications programme. The HFMA qualification is ideal for me in my role, in that it mixes finance and business rather than a purely finance qualification.

I believe studying will benefit me in my role as it is essential that more NHS staff understand how NHS finance works and think in a more business-like manner to deliver sustainable services."

Paul Halliday_circle

Paul Halliday

Head of Financial Planning
NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group

"I have been working in NHS finance for 14 years across all sectors and am currently head of financial planning for Southampton City CCG. I passed CIMA nearly 10 years ago and haven’t studied any further since then.  It felt like the right time to further my education.

The HFMA qualification appealed to me as it is directly relevant to my role and the choice of modules is quite far ranging. The reason that I chose to study is that I hope I can take the learning back into my role so that I can provide further benefit to my organisation.  I have deliberately chosen the modules that I believe will deliver the most benefit."

Tracy Parker_circle

Tracy Parker

Strategy & Planning Accountant
Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust

"My current role is a senior finance position within Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS FT, leading on contracts and income for the Trust.  Previously, I have undertaken finance roles both within public and private sector at various financial accounting levels and have worked within the NHS for 10 years across both commissioning and provider organisations.

Since qualifying as a chartered management accountant, I have always been keen to continue to study further and increase my knowledge. HFMA offered a qualification that was both accessible in terms of flexibility with a senior full-time role and meaningful to my career.  The subject topics appeared to be relevant and deliver depth of knowledge I was hoping to attain from such a qualification. 

Undertaking my studies has already secured the next step on the career ladder into a CCG as an Assistant Director.  However, my qualification and studies are also generating a greater depth to my approach to daily tasks and decision making processes. Since starting the course, my current line manager has acknowledged a clear transition in my knowledge and ability. Personally, I believe this is down the coverage each topic delivers on meaningful issues in the current NHS climate from both a financial and quality perspective."

Clare Young_circle

Clare Young

Planning & Programme Management Office (PMO) Manager
NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group

"As PMO manager for NHS Southampton City CCG, I work within the financial & planning directorate. I have worked in the NHS for 3 years; prior to this, I worked at B&Q head office for 7 years following my graduation from University.

I decided to choose a postgraduate qualification for two reasons; firstly, to broaden my knowledge and skills and, secondly, to strengthen my future progression and job prospects. Having discussed my ambitions for the future with my line manager and the CFO, both were very supportive of me to study for a postgraduate qualification and the CFO recommended the HFMA’s diploma.

I was excited about the modules that the HFMA diploma had to offer, such as 'Creating & delivering value in UK healthcare' and 'Tools to support decision making': Although I have a strong project and programme management background, I have a shallower understanding of the workings of finance. The 'How finance works in the NHS' module would make me feel more confident in this area and equip me with a better understanding of finance in the NHS."

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