Annual conference / HFMA annual conference 2023

09:30, 4 December 2023 – 14:00, 8 December 2023 Online

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HFMA members, associates and friends came together again for the biggest and most prestigious HFMA event of the NHS finance calendar. Those in attendance networked with peers, were inspired by our on-stage content and learned about innovation and collaboration across the healthcare sector.

The focus of this year's conference was working as one, and included topics like the national virtual wards programme, social finance, international updates from HFMA across the world, the future of outpatient care, mentorships, digital technologies and dementia patient support. 

The event began with a series of online leaning labs on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning then, from Wednesday afternoon to Friday, the conference ran as a hybrid event from the Hilton Metropole in London.

Across the five days, we heard from our keynote speakers, Brendan hall – global explorer, Jon Sopel – co-host of The News Agents podcast and Mary Portas – British retail consultant and broadcaster.

Session content

Dec 04

    Please note: the video recording from this session is no longer available because the speaker only gave permission for it to be shared for one month after the conference.

    Brendan is one of only ten people in the world to lead the winning team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – an epic ten month long, 40,000 mile ocean sailing race around the planet where the strongest teamwork always wins. Although Brendan was the youngest and least experienced skipper in the race, his team won it in convincing fashion. They didn’t win because Brendan was the best sailor or strategist, but because he created the most engaged and empowered on-board culture, with a compelling vision, strong values and a continuous-improvement mindset.

    Brendan Hall   / Award-winning speaker, author and coach

    Katy will explore the fundamental principles of social investment, focusing on its application in the NHS and the statutory sector through insights gained from Social Finance's extensive experience. Learn how social investment can play a pivotal role in supporting transformative efforts for systems facing financial deficits, and about the future trajectory of social investment.

    Katy Nex   / Development director for health & social care , Social Finance
    Lisa Robertson  / Senior policy manager, HFMA

    The NHS Long Term Plan committed to accelerate the uptake of selected innovative medical devices, diagnostics, and digital products, by developing the MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) policy that launched on 1 April 2021. The MTFM aims to ensure patients and the NHS benefit from clinically effective and cost saving medical technologies faster and more equitably.

    Sarah will join delegates today to provide an overview of the MTFM and how it can be utilised. By drawing on current NHS case studies, she will reflect on some of the technologies adopted since it’s inception and the impact on patient experience. The total savings generated by the policy to date are over £5 million.

    Sarah will also announce future plans for the MTFM including future funding provision, how this will be allocated and how you can get involved.

    This learning lab is part of the HFMA Delivering Value with Digital Technologies workstream.

    Sarah Tyers   / MedTech funding mandate policy lead , NHS England
    Ian Turner  / Deputy chief executive and director of finance

    This session will highlight tax issues relevant to NHS finance staff, including VAT issues, IR35, hybrid working as well as tax issues highlighted in the government’s Autumn statement on the 22nd November.

    Paul Jones   / Tax Centre of Excellence
    Helen Stretch   / NHS Sector , HMRC
    Debbie Paterson  / HFMA senior technical manager

    With the ongoing focus on recovery of care backlogs, efficiency improvements and unprecedented savings targets, NHS Supply Chain continually strives to deliver a resilient procurement and supply chain service, enabling the NHS to deliver safe and excellent patient care.

    By collaborating with system partners across finance, procurement and clinical teams NHS Supply Chain remains focused on driving efficiencies with the NHS. Presenting with Sue Colbeck, chief procurement officer at Cheshire and Merseyside ICB, Hamish Makanji will share recent collaboration successes and plans to drive greater incremental value back to the NHS.

    Hamish Makanji   / Head of hospital care , NHS Supply Chain
    Patrick Butterworth   / Chief finance officer , NHS Supply Chain
    Karen Edge   / Chief finance officer , Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

    In this session Teena and Theresa will share details of joint work with NHS England to develop a future of outpatient care strategy and discuss the impact on commissioning. The session will look at what the strategy is aiming to achieve, the workstreams taking place, the key messages from the recent engagement summits and discuss the publication of the strategy.

    Teena Chowdhury   / Deputy director, care quality improvement department , Royal College of Physicians
    Dr Theresa Barnes   / RCP clinical lead for outpatients , Royal College of Physicians

    Sharing financial information with budget holders in a clear, understandable way is a challenge faced widely across the health service. In a healthcare landscape where a number of different healthcare organisations need to work collaboratively to deliver the best possible care for patients, being able to access data in a consistent, up-to-date and informative way is essential. In this session James and Kim will talk through the development of an NEP system which through simple dashboards and functionality give examples of the art of the possible. The session will also include details of how Harrogate approached the implementation of the system and the benefits now being realised.

    James Munday   / Head of reporting , NEP
    Kim Berry   / Project lead , NEP
    Joe Langthorne   / Systems development accountant , Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
Dec 05

    During this session, David will give an update on the virtual wards programme, which helps support patients receive acute care treatment within their own homes, rather than receiving treatment in hospital.

    David will give an overview of the programme, where it is now, the future plans and a summary of the growing evidence base.

    David Russell   / Deputy director , NHS England

    In this session, Dily and Gemma will be talking about their experiences and the support that bands 2 – 6 receive including the benefits of being band 2 – 6 members of HFMA, the networking they have been involved in and what they are doing locally with other band 2 – 6 staff.

    Dily Atkinson   / Finance manager - division of surgery , Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust
    Gemma Ashfield   / Finance assistant officer- cash management , NHS Somerset Integrated Care Board
    Emma Sayner   / Deputy director of finance , NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board

    We do not have permission to share these slides.

    NHS IMPACT (Improving Patient Care Together) has been launched to support all NHS organisations, systems and providers at every level, including NHS England, to have the skills and techniques to deliver continuous improvement.

    NHS IMPACT is a single improvement approach to support organisations, systems and providers to shape their strategy underpinning this with continuous improvement, and to share best practice and learn from one another.

    It will inform the way we work across services and create the conditions in which continuous improvement is the “go to” method for tackling clinical, operational and financial challenges.

    Kathryn Perera, Partner to the NHS IMPACT programme will tell the story of NHS IMPACT to date, share the opportunities for financial leaders and answer any questions.

    Kathryn Perera   / Director, NHS Horizons , and partner to the NHS Impact Programme
    Fiona Boyle   / Policy manager , HFMA

    In this session learn from a tragic K2 expedition and how to set clear organisational change outcomes. Gain insights into neuroscience and how to plan a ‘brain friendly’ organisation change programme using the latest change methods.

    Jo Stanford   / Chief executive officer , Healthcare Project and Change Association

    Join Andrea and Grace to learn about the new NHS finance inclusive talent management model launched in July 2023, designed to help all staff access formalised talent conversations and development plans. This workshop session will include how this strategy directly impacts your role, offering career development and progression benefits. It will explore the advantages it brings to organisations and senior leaders in terms of recruitment and retention processes. The session is open to all audience levels, including CFOs, line managers, and those seeking development opportunities.

    Andrea McGee   / Former chief finance officer , Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust
    Grace Lovelady   / Programme manager , One NHS Finance
    Emma Knowles  / Director of policy and research

    There are various ways that finance teams are helping to improve health inequalities, whether that be through targeted investments, money allocation, efficiency programmes or as part of a transformation project.

    Creating the case for change can be challenging in a resource constrained environment but this learning lab session will provide attendees with various current examples from within the NHS who are successfully addressing health inequalities through their decision making and financial strategy.

    In this session, Therese and Emily will provide an overview of the HFMA’s health inequalities workstream, sharing current examples and discussing how these fit in to the overall financial strategy, commissioning approach and future direction of travel in the NHS.

    Therese Paskell   / HFMA associate
    Emily Hopkinson   / Policy & research manager , HFMA

    No slides were used for this session.

    Learn about University Hospitals Birmingham’s exciting journey to transform their back-office Finance Operations using a modern cloud-based platform from SAP.

    In this session, you will hear from Sarah Thomas as Programme SRO supported by Julian Miller as Executive Sponsor and Rob Bennett as Programme Director. You will hear about the exciting journey they have embarked on to replace multiple, disparate and ageing on premise legacy systems with a high TCO, to a modern cloud-based solution, SAP S/4 HANA.

    This is a first of type solution in the NHS; it will provide a fully integrated system across Finance, Logistics, Warehousing, Procurement, and Analytics and will deliver significant long-term benefits in the efficiency and productivity of these teams, through automation, streamlined processes, improved data quality, and better financial controls and reporting for the whole Trust.

    UHB will share their experiences to date and progress made towards this large transformation in Corporate services and how, working in partnership with NTT DATA and SAP, they have addressed challenges ranging across technology, people, data migration and importantly the wider organisational readiness.

    Julian Miller   / Chief finance officer , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
    Sarah Thomas   / Deputy chief finance officer , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
    Rob Bennett   / Head of finance systems , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
    Linda Elverson   / Head of healthcare , SAP
    Flann Horgan   / Head of healthcare sector , NTT Data

    We do not yet have permission to share these slides.

    How can immediate financial pressures be addressed through action on prevention and using allocative value?

    Professor Sanjay Agrawal will set the scene on the power of preventative interventions to increase the efficiency of health services and introduce inpatient smoking cessation (tobacco dependence treatment) services as an example of how savings can be made in practice. He’ll also introduce a return-on-investment tool to help you estimate the impact of in your organisation or system. You will then hear 2 case studies of inpatient tobacco dependence treatment services: Dr Matthew Evison will present the business case and local data (including in-year savings) for inpatient stop smoking services in Greater Manchester and Dr Gillian Lowry will show how what has been achieved in Derby with funding from NHS England for inpatient stop smoking services.

    The session will be interactive with time for questions and for panellists to hear your views on investing in prevention. Resources will be made available beforehand so that you can come prepared.

    Professor Sanjay Agrawal  / Respiratory consultant University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
    Dr Gillian Lowrey   / Clinical lead for tobacco dependency programme and respiratory consultant physician , Joined up Care Derbyshire and University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
    Professor Matthew Evison   / Clinical lead for the CURE programme and Tobacco Addiction
    Dr Olivia Bush   / NHS strategic lead , Action on Smoking and Health
Dec 06

    Meenu and Janet discussed the practical steps they've taken at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to minimize their carbon footprint within clinical services. They shared insights on harnessing the power of carbon champions, rallying clinical colleagues and the executive team to support environmental changes, fostering clear and engaging dialogue with stakeholders to secure buy-in, and highlighting instances where carbon reduction initiatives have coincided with cost savings.
    This REPLAY session was from the HFMA Hub’s environmental sustainability conference 2023 on 12 October 2023.

    Dr Meenu Netke   / Consultant anaesthetist & clinical lead for sustainability , Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
    Janet Smith   / Head of sustainability , head of sustainability

    This session will feature two case studies from Australia. The first of these looks at the provision of cancer services and the impact adopting patient reported outcome measurement has had on patient outcomes, quality and costs. The second case study focuses on dental services and will share details of a value-based cost and payment model which aims to promote the use of high value services. For both case studies, the speakers will give an overview of the projects including the challenges faced and lessons learnt from the results so far.

    This is a replay session from the Healthcare Costing for Value Institute International value symposium which took place on 5 October 2023. For more information on the Healthcare Costing for Value Institute, please visit

    Christobel Saunders   / Chair of surgery and director research , Melbourne Medical School, Royal Melbourne Hospital
    Susan McKee   / Chief executive officer , Dental Health Services, Victoria

    We do not have permission to share these slides.

    The NHS is currently going through vast amounts of change, from the creation of the 42 ICBs and other integrated systems, all the way to the restructuring of individual teams. This can leave those affected feeling like they are aren’t comfortable in their roles and are unable to perform as well as they would like.

    Kate and Joscelyn will talk to us about their experiences in navigating organisational change and will share their learnings in making it feel more manageable for those impacted by the change.

    This REPLAY session was from the HFMA members’ summer series event which took place from 20-22 June 2023.

    Kate Hannam   / Interim group service director , Morriston Hospital, Swansea Bay University Health Board
    Joscelyn Henry-Shaw   / Corporate portfolio change manager , NHS England

    Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is the largest NHS trust in the country with 10 hospitals employing over 28,000 staff and in September 2022 they went live with their Electronic Patient Record (EPR). Powered by Epic and called HIVE, this was the largest EPR go live in Europe, making this one of the biggest and most ambitious transformation projects in the history of the NHS. Now almost a year on, Jacqui Cooper, CNIO at the trust will join us to reflect on their journey from inception, through to implementation, with a particular focus on the subsequent change in working culture. With a transformation project of this scale, the go live date was just the beginning, the real challenge came in the months that followed. In this session, Jacqui will explore what came next and how they and other leaders came together to train and lead staff to adapt their working practices and engage with the software.

    This REPLAY session was an HFMA webinar which took place on 13 October 2023.

    Jacqui Cooper   / Chief nursing information officer , Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

    Jacqui Rock, Chief Commercial Officer, NHS England will discuss the work taking place in NHS Commercial to realise significant commercial efficiencies across the NHS, for reinvestment in patient care. This includes NHS England’s recent publication of the Strategic Framework for NHS Commercial, which formalises the NHS’s ambitions to drive the best value for money for the taxpayer, identify commercial efficiencies for the NHS, drive collaboration and professionalise its commercial workforce.

    Jacqui will discuss how this, in addition to NHS England’s ongoing work to reform the framework landscape, is supporting the NHS to leverage its purchasing power.

    Jacqui Rock  / Chief commercial officer NHS England

    Join representatives from NHS England as they discuss and share outcomes from the NHS People Promise Exemplar Programme led by the National Retention Team.

    This programme supports 23 trusts across England to deliver a ‘bundle’ of actions that has helped to create sustained gains across the whole workforce, improving the retention of staff and therefore workforce productivity, through the implementation of the seven elements of the NHS People Promise. Together with colleagues from some of the 23 organisations, the team will share best practice and takeaways for helping our NHS people to stay and stay well.

    Established in April 2020, NHS England’s People Directorate leads the programme and works to improve staff experience and the retention of our NHS people. The programme works nationally as well as across all seven regions to support and help organisations and systems achieve real tangible improvements in staff retention.

    In this session Em and Ronke with provide an overview of the programme, outlining the retention initiatives currently being adopted across the system with measurable outcomes. They will also look to the future ambitions for the programme as well as other strands of the people plan under their remit.

    Em Wilkinson-Brice  / National director for people NHS England
    Ronke Akerele  / Director of culture transformation NHS England

    The NHS Finance Insights Placement scheme was initiated as a pilot in London to attract and support diverse young talent for NHS finance roles. It offers paid work experience to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, aligning with the goals set in the NHS Finance EDI Action-Plan.

    After a successful pilot, CFO lead Tom Shearer will discuss the scheme's benefits and its expansion to all seven NHS England regions, inviting leaders in attendance to sign-up to deliver this locally.

    Tom Shearer  / Chief finance officer Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
    Kamil Hussain   / Deputy finance manager – surgery & cancer division , Barts Health NHS Trust

    Professor Bola Owolabi (MRCGP, MFPH Hon, FRSPH) is Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England (NHSE). She also works as a GP in the Midlands.

    Bola has particular interest in reducing healthcare inequalities through integrated care models, service transformation, and using data insights for quality improvement. She has spearheaded NHSE’s Core20PLUS5 approach to narrowing healthcare inequalities.

    She was previously National Speciality Advisor for Older People and Integrated Person-Centred Care at NHSE, where she led the Anticipatory Care workstream of the National Ageing Well Programme. She collaborated with teams across NHSE and the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Covid-19 pandemic response.

    Bola is an alumna of Ashridge Executive Education / Hult International Business School and holds a Masters degree with distinction in Leadership (Quality Improvement). She also received an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership for Clinicians.
    Bola is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Birmingham. She is also a Vice President of the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH).

    Professor Bola Owolabi  / Director - national healthcare inequalities improvement programme, NHS England and GP
Dec 07

    No slides were used for this session.

    From the steps of Downing Street to the inside of the White House press briefing room, Jon Sopel has spent four decades reporting on global events and interviewing the people who tried to shape them.

    In February 2022, Jon announced he was leaving the BBC to launch The News Agents Podcast alongside Lewis Goodall and Emily Maitlis.

    Jon Sopel will join us to provide an insightful analysis of the NHS within the political landscape. He elucidates the historical, present, and future challenges faced by the NHS, intertwining the critical role of political decisions and healthcare policies.

    Sopel addresses the complex interplay between political decisions, funding allocations, and the practical implications for healthcare delivery within the NHS. He highlights the impact of various political ideologies, party policies, and governmental strategies on the functioning and sustainability of the healthcare system.

    Jon Sopel  / Previous BBC news reporter and co-presenter of The News Agents

    No slides were used for these sessions.

    1. The implications of the digital world on YOUR service

    The NHS Digital Academy is the directorate responsible for supporting the roll out of digital services across the NHS. In this session, James will discuss some of the ambitions for the NHS digital agenda and outline why NHS finance professionals need to be engaged in the conversation.

    Mark Orchard  / Joint chief financial officer, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and Isle of Wight NHS Trust
    James Freed   / Deputy director , The NHS Digital Academy, NHS England
    2. AI in healthcare: a clinical perspective

    Dr Simon Rickaby is a radiologist who also has a passion for artificial intelligence. Alongside his clinical role, he is also responsible for developing the digital strategy for radiology in South West London and is part of the South West London AI in Radiology Group. This is a research group working with both NHS and private organisations to support the procurement and adoption of artificial intelligence in the NHS. With so many AI solutions on offer, in this session Dr Rickaby will outline the benefits of using AI in healthcare for patients as well as untangling the challenges associated with procuring an AI tool to use within the NHS.

    Dr Simon Rickaby   / Transformation lead for the Southwest London radiology PACS programme, imaging informatics specialist and radiographer , Kingston Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    3. A clinician’s view on financing digital innovation

    As a clinician now working in a digital role as an Executive Chief Digital Officer, Jon will explore the practicalities of delivering the digital plans and touch on some of the barriers as well as highlighting what is going well and why it’s important to continue despite the barriers.

    Dr Jon Cort   / Executive chief digital officer and consultant - intensive care medicine , Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    4. The role of NHS finance staff in supporting the transformation of care through digital technologies

    Claire will join delegates today to discuss the role of finance teams and the importance of the relationships with the digital teams, measuring value and business case development.

    Claire Osmundsen-Little   / Director of finance and digital assurance , Digital Health and Care Wales

    No slides were used for this session.

    This fireside chat will include perspectives from our sister HFMA organisations, both in the US and Australia.

    Ross, the incoming HFMA Australia president will provide an overview of the Australian system and alongside Paul, will look to highlight the current issues and differences between their systems and the UK. There will be opportunity for questions and discussion This will be followed by a short overview from Dennis, who is the incoming president of HFMA US as well as CFO of the world-renowned Mayo clinic.

    We hope attendees come away with different perspectives that could be applied at home.

    Ross Sinclair   / HFMA President AUS and executive director of finance , Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health
    Dennis Dahlen   / HFMA chair US and chief financial officer , Mayo Clinic
    Paul Brown  / Branch chair

    In early 2020, the idea for the first virtual hospital in Sydney was discussed: a hospital that would be completely virtual, have its own employees and a small site but no actual beds or outpatient unit. Miranda will join us to explore the journey from an idea, through to the establishment of the hospital during the pandemic to now, reflecting on how the virtual hospital is developing new models of care in the community. She will explore how, through the use of pilots across various pathways, they are expanding the services offered by the hospital, she will also discuss the challenges presented around digital literacy and community outreach.

    Since it’s inception the virtual hospital programme has treated over 66,000 patients and has capacity to support up to 2,800 patients a day across the whole of the health district.

    Miranda Shaw   / General manager , SLHD RPA Virtual Hospital, Sydney

    No slides were used for this session.

    Drawing from her extensive experience and understanding of the healthcare sector, former Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt will dive into the core elements of the 'Hewitt review' unveiling the multifaceted nature of financial complexities within the NHS.

    Hewitt emphasises the imperative for a strategic, collaborative response from the NHS finance community. She highlights the pivotal role this community holds in effecting positive change, not only in terms of financial management but also in driving innovation, improving patient care, and ensuring the efficient allocation of resources.

    Hewitt stresses the importance of leveraging technology, embracing best practices, and adopting a forward-thinking approach to financial planning within the NHS. Her insights serve as a roadmap for a more robust, financially sound, and patient-centric NHS and this session offers an opportunity for discussion with attendees.

    Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt  / Chair NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board
    Professor Sanjay Agrawal  / Respiratory consultant University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

    No slides were used for this session.

    In this short panel session, financial leaders from across the system will join Patricia to take questions from the audience and explore what working as one means in practice. With a look to the future of healthcare delivery taking into consideration the recommendations of the Hewitt review as well as all learning from today’s session.

    Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt  / Chair NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board
    Claire Wilson  / HFMA president 2023/24
    Lee Bond  / Immediate past president
    Bill Shields  / Interim chief executive and chief finance officer NHS Devon Integrated Care Board
    Professor Sanjay Agrawal  / Respiratory consultant University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
    Working as one in practice
Dec 08

    Dr Kate Allatt’s unique, interactive session is an inspirational masterclass on digital health, resiliency and patient experience.
    Her engaging, funny and mind-blowing storytelling illustrates resiliency in practice. Kate will explain the importance of relationships, communication, cognitive bias and health inequalities and give you a toolkit to help you be more can bounce back fitter and stronger to adversity.

    Dr. Kate Allatt  / TEDx speaker, researcher
    Locked in syndrome, Kate Allatt

    No slides were used for this session.

    In this session, Julian will provide a national finance update on behalf of NHS England, identifying the national priorities and areas of focus for the NHS finance community in the year ahead.

    Julian Kelly  / Deputy chief executive and chief financial officer NHS England
    Lee Bond  / Immediate past president

    No slides were used for this session.

    Suzanne Tracey will journey with Mary on an intriguing conversation, gleaning insights into leadership, organisation culture and community, and exploring questions around impacts on wider social value.

    Mary Portas  / Businesswoman, broadcaster, author, and activist
    Suzanne Tracey  / HFMA past president HFMA coach

Event resources

The HFMA aims to embed sustainability into everything it does and to be a responsible organisation. Our environmental focus for our flagship event was centered around four themes: transport, energy, waste reduction and suppliers. The actions we took this year included: offsetting our carbon emissions with our venue partner, the Hilton London Metropole; working with our AV partner to design out energy wastage; using carbon neutral printers for all of our printed materials.

As part of this year's HFMA annual conference programme, there were several sessions that were developed in conjunction with HFMA's ongoing topic of interest - delivering value with digital technologies. Further reading and to learn more about future ambitions for the year ahead: Delivering value with digital technologies 2024 | HFMA

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities

Speak to a member of our team today.

Refunds on early and standard booker rates are available until 31 October 2023. Refunds are not available for super early bird bookings made on or before 21 April 2023 or for late rate bookings made after 1 November 2023. Substitutions can be made at any time.

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