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New for 2022 - the HFMA's acute with community services game has been updated

If you are looking for a fun but informative and interactive training day that looks at some of the key challenges and changes facing acute hospitals, please contact us to find out more.

What are the games?

The HFMA's NHS operating games are a set of unique and valuable training tools for NHS staff, whether working in clinical, financial or board member roles. The operating games give the perfect balance of knowledge transfer, real life examples and fun to deliver training sessions.

The games provide a powerful opportunity for healthcare professionals (NHS and suppliers) to experience some of the key operational, clinical and financial challenges faced by NHS trusts. We have two games; one for acute hospital trusts, and one integrated health and social care *

Acute with community - participants manage theoretical trusts and are encouraged to discuss and review their performance and adapt their strategy, in order to get the best financial and clinical outcomes.

Integrated health and social care - focuses on the wider workings of the integrated health economy.

Acute with community


This game allows participants to understand how an acute provider earns its income and where it spends its money. It illustrates in a very practical way that operational decisions have an effect on the financial position of the organisation as well as its quality rating. It also demonstrates that decisions made to meet a financial target impact on the running of the organisation as well as the quality of care that it provides to its patients.

Each participant takes on a different job in the acute trust. The teams make decisions about waiting lists, delivering targets within resources available, financially, clinically and operationally. Participants are introduced to the way that money flows around the NHS, the challenges faced on a daily basis.

The game is flexible and can take into account particular issues facing the host organisation. For example, if agency staffing levels are a problem then the game can be adapted to reflect that issue and allow participants to consider how it might be resolved.

Learning outcomes

Acute with community Services

For the NHS
• Higher clinical engagement in financial matters
• Remove barriers to communication between departments
• Learning how clinical, financial and operation issues interact
• Understand finance terminology and how finance works in the NHS
• Understand how operational and financial decisions make an impact on service quality 
• Understand the challenges presented with follow on providers and services. E.g community and social care.

For NHS Suppliers
• Strengthen engagement between your staff and NHS
• Remove barriers to communication by using common language
• Enhance your team’s understanding of the healthcare business
• Understand finance terminology and how the money flows in the NHS
• Learning how clinical, financial and operation issues interact
• Understanding how and why certain decisions are made by NHS.

Delivery methods

HFMA delivery day

The day is facilitated at your premises, by HFMA’s high calibre facilitators who have worked in NHS finance at board level for decades. Delegates will get a sound grasp of how money flows through the NHS and how various pressures and challenges can impact on decision making and budgeting. Teams will be managing a trust for a day, with various responsibilities such as managing patients, service lines, clinical staff, funding, assets and relationships with commissioners.

We guarantee a session that is fun, informative, interactive and insightful.

Annual licence option

Want to run training in house?

HFMA also offer the operating game on an annual licence to NHS organisations, supported with a two day ‘train-the-trainer’ course to enable your finance team to run the game. We deliver you a complete game kit with all resources required for you to run your training and then offer continued support throughout the duration of your license during which your team can run the training as many times as you wish.

Relevant, real-life NHS training

Our facilitators have all worked at board level for decades and bring relevant and real-life NHS experience to the operating game training days.

Want to know more?

Please contact the team on 0117 457 3990 or email stephanie.brown@hfma.org.uk.

*This version of the game will be available later on in 2022 – further information to follow.

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