Brighter together

by Alex Gild

30 November 2018

Finance staff, working together, have a major role in delivering the long-term plan.

What a year 2018 has been for the NHS. HFMA joined the fabulous 70th birthday celebrations in July with a fascinating look forward as to how the NHS may look with the changes needed towards its centenary, all outlined in our NHS at 100 publication.

In the present this was also the year when government heeded the collective and loudening voices of the public, patients and the NHS. These had all shared huge concern for its immediate future, due to pressures of demand, workforce and finances deteriorating very significantly over the last three years.

The revenue settlement announced in the summer is imminently due for translation into a set of plans that underpin a 10-year strategic vision for the NHS. December is going to be a critically important month as we anticipate the publication of the plan, supported by wide and expert stakeholder engagement in its design, and the detailed planning guidance for 2019/20. This aims to help kick start the NHS into a recovery of performance, improvement and long-term transformation to the benefit of the patients we serve.

We know the near term will remain hugely challenging, but we should be optimistic for this, our NHS plan.

NHS Improvement chief executive Ian Dalton is due to join us at our annual conference in the first week of December and I hope we will hear from him of the positive intent baked into a fundamentally realistic plan for our NHS. One we can all get behind, enabled by a positive cultural shift in the newly integrated support and improvement offer to the NHS from NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Looking back on my year as president it has been a delight to attend the branches, where the strength of HFMA is considerably shown in our local networks. It is remarkable that a good number of branches saw their highest ever turnout for their annual conferences this year and notably this included Northern Ireland and Wales.

My theme of Brighter together reflects on the similarities and respected differences of the NHS (and care) systems across our four UK nations, and how the HFMA enables learning and networking across them all.

If it were not for the volunteers on branch committees we would not have the brilliant HFMA we have. So, I want to thank each and every one of those volunteers for the work they do for their colleagues in supporting this great and proud NHS finance profession.

HFMA is a family, and it is one of our core strengths. Future-Focused Finance is part of this family of support to the NHS finance profession. I have been impressed with the leadership, energy and focus of colleagues in FFF in bringing the value maker and equality and diversity agenda front and centre to support people working in NHS finance. Together we are developing new ways to better nurture and develop talent, whoever we are and wherever we work.

HFMA qualifications will provide an important framework for our professional development and I look forward to celebrating our next round of graduates at conference. There is no time like now to step forward and be a part of the journey in taking our great NHS forward. Finance people are core to its future.

It has been a sincere honour and privilege to serve you and HFMA as president, thank you for your support. Let’s keep doing what we do best for the NHS and patients, working together with others, bringing on our skills and expertise, our people, teams and new talent for the future.

Our NHS. Your HFMA. We are brighter together.

The HFMA annual conference takes place in London from 5-7 December. Follow news from the conference online or on the myHFMA app (HFMA members can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play).

This blog is taken from the December issue of Healthcare Finance (available soon).