Financial sustainability – the essential building blocks

Catherine Mitchell

21 June 2022


Delivering long-term financial sustainability is not something that can be achieved quickly and is an ongoing process rather than a one-off plan, with a focus on delivering value.

Since March 2020, NHS organisations have been focused on the operational management of the Covid-19 pandemic. This, coupled with the temporary financial regime and additional funding, meant efficiency requirements were put on hold. Now there is a renewed focus on improving financial sustainability and a need to regain financial grip, while still balancing the competing priorities from operational activity, workforce demands and recovery from Covid-19.

The HFMA interviewed a number of experts who support NHS organisations to improve their financial performance, as well as finance directors and senior clinicians, asking them for their views on the building blocks for improving financial sustainability. 

This briefing summarises the key themes. We recognise that implementing each of them will come with challenges and they will not be implemented quickly. However, most organisations won’t be starting from a blank canvas and this report is intended to be a reminder of how essential these building blocks are when improving financial sustainability.

To support finance teams engage with their non-finance colleagues about financial sustainability, we have also produced an accompanying engagement pack consisting of a slide deck and speaker notes for use within your organisation. Both documents are available below. 
Financial sustainability – the essential building blocks

June 2022 (PDF 348KB)


Additional documents

Financial sustainability - engagement pack speaker notes

June 2022 (PDF 178KB)

Financial sustainability - engagement pack - powerpoint

June 2022 (PPTX 2347KB)

Improving NHS financial sustainability are you getting the basics right

April 2022 (PDF 340KB)

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