HFMA 2018: HFMA celebrates qualification success

06 December 2018

​The HFMA last night celebrated the achievements of students on the association’s postgraduate qualifications programme.

At a graduates awards ceremony, held on the first evening of the HFMA 2018 annual conference in London, HFMA president Alex Gild recognised the achievements of 41 students who completed either the Advanced Higher Diploma in Healthcare Business and Finance, the Advanced Diploma in Healthcare Business and Finance or the Certificate in Making Finance Work in the NHS.qual.grads l

Both the diplomas involve the completion of three modules, with the advanced diploma including the mandatory Making finance work module. However, people can choose to study individual modules and in total more than 100 people have studied for the HFMA qualifications in the past year.

HFMA chief executive Mark Knight also thanked NHS Improvement and NHS England for making a bursary available to support practitioners taking the qualifications. ‘This has helped more than 120 students to participate in the qualification so far with funding still available,’ he said.

Completion of the advanced higher diploma makes students eligible for the final third of a new MBA programme in healthcare finance, developed by BPP University. A number of learners will embark on this final stage of the qualification in the new year.

The HFMA also named Sonita Osborne, head of financial services at George Eliot NHS Trust as the winner of this year’s Tony Whitfield Learner of the Year Award.

Former HFMA president Mr Whitfield, a major contributor to the association’s education agenda, was unable to attend this year’s ceremony. But he said the qualification was in keeping with his theme while president – Knowing the business – which had been based on a belief that to serve patients and taxpayers you need an understanding of the context of healthcare. ‘It is incumbent on us to ensure we undertake CPD to keep [our] knowledge base fresh,’ he said. ‘In taking a course of study with HFMA, you are embodying that belief – a rigorous endeavour tailored to our industry.’

Ms Osborne, who successfully completed the advanced higher diploma, was selected from a shortlist of three students, which also included Carl Smith (Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group) and Gianluca Paderi (Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust). Ms Osborne was unable to attend the ceremony but her award was collected on her behalf by Haq Khan, director of finance at George Eliot.