The NHS finance function in 2015: England

26 February 2016


This briefing summarises the English 2015 finance staff census carried out by the Finance Staff Development Network and the results of the HFMA’s NHS finance staff attitude survey. The census reflects the number of finance staff in post at the end of June 2015 and the NHS finance staff attitudes survey was carried out during autumn 2015.

The key messages from the census are:

As at the end of June 2015 there were 16,211 people working in NHS finance in England, the whole time equivalent figure is 15,123

  • Finance staff carry out a variety of roles. Some 53% work in financial management roles, 27% work in financial accounting roles, 21% work in financial services, administration and secretarial roles
  • There is an imbalance between the number of working in NHS finance in England and the number of women in finance director roles. While 62% of finance staff are female, only 26% of finance directors are women
  • 61% of finance staff in England are qualified or studying for a finance qualification. 44% have, or are studying for, a CCAB or equivalent-body qualification. 

The key messages from the NHS finance staff attitude survey, completed by 526 finance staff in England, are:

  • 65% have experience of working outside of the NHS. This includes working in other parts of the public sector and the private sector, such as for one of the accountancy firms
  • the average job satisfaction is 6.7 out of 10 and satisfaction tends to increase the more senior staff are
  • 64% of the English finance staff who took part in our survey would like to spend the rest of their career working in the NHS
  • 74% think that NHS finance offers enough opportunities for motivated finance professionals to progress their careers
  • 78% of respondents believe they have been given adequate development opportunities in their current role
  • 89% think their finance department provides value to their organisation.

Similar briefings have been produced for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is also a UK summary. A series of infographics have also been produced.


The NHS finance function in 2015: England

February 2016 (PDF 694KB)


Additional documents

HFMA UK 2015 Infographic

July 2018 (PDF 998KB)

Additional data tables and charts

July 2018 (XLSX 215KB)

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