health & social care

Delivering Effective Financial Management Across the NHS

health & social care

08:45 - 16:10

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Central London

This Forum will provide participants with practical insights into improving financial management and achieving significant savings across the NHS. A range of engaging sessions from key players from across the NHS will demonstrate innovative ways for Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to maximise efficiency and deliver on savings targets whilst maintaining outstanding levels of patient care. Leading finance practitioners will offer best practice guidance on implementing innovative procurement and commissioning strategies, providing professional development opportunities to NHS finance staff and delivering outstanding value-for-money projects.


This Forum is specifically designed for finance practitioners at NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups within the Health Sector.

Typical job titles include:

  • National Directors
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Executives
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Directors of Finance
  • Directors of Quality
  • Directors of Operations
  • Directors of Clinical Services
  • Service Transformation Managers
  • Heads of Estates
  • Workforce Development Managers
  • Heads of Procurement

This Forum is also open to the wider Public Sector and Private Sector to facilitate networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Jeff Buggle, Operational Director of Finance (London), NHS Improvement
  • Adrian Snarr, Director of Financial Control, NHS England
  • Bob Alexander, Associate Director of Health, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA)
  • David Ellcock, Programme Director, Future-Focused FinanceNHS England
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Professor Judith Smith, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham (invited)


Morning Keynote: The Future of Financial Sustainability across the NHS

  • Exploring the latest progress in the delivery of the Carter Review recommendations and how the NHS will meet the targets of £5bn in operational savings by 2020/21
  • Sharing lessons from the ‘model hospital’ blueprint to tackle the challenge of unwarranted financial variations in procurement, floor usage and operational costs across the NHS
  • Analysing the role of workforce deployment and redesign in overcoming significant costs associated with sickness absence, recruitment, dependency on agency staff and inefficient deployment of clinicians
  • Discussing how operational productivity can be enhanced through collaboration with community and mental health services
  • Evaluating the future of the NHS efficiency and productivity programme and outlining how the wider target of 10-15% health cost reductions can be achieved by April 2021

Jeff Buggle, Operational Director of Finance (London), NHS Improvement (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Delivering an Efficient and Innovative NHS

  • Outlining NHS England’s review into accounts payable transactions and its strategy in improving transaction efficiency
  • Assessing the progress of CCGs in rolling out e-invoicing to improve processing times, reduce business costs and improve account reconciliation
  • Evaluating solutions to centralise non-contracted activity in order to reduce the costs and resources associated with intra-NHS transactions
  • Reviewing processes with key suppliers in order to rationalise payment systems and support more efficient routes for payments
  • Highlighting the need to harness technologies and accelerate the rate of change around the use of automated, end-to-end processes for finance functions

Adrian Snarr, Director of Financial Control, NHS England (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Turning a Financial Deficit into a Surplus - Improving Engagement and Taking An Innovative Approach

  • Overcoming underlying financial challenges and dealing with unprecedented risks caused by the implementation of a new electronic patient record and a move to a new hospital
  • Achieving a turnaround from a forecast for a year-end deficit of £10.5 million in 2016/17 to a year-end surplus of £3.5 million and a further £3 million in cash
  • Involving staff at all levels in the recovery plan by creating a strong governance framework with robust implementation of plans to deliver financial improvements of £14 million
  • Discussing best practice surrounding the costing team’s governance and quarterly value intelligence for patient reports
  • Designing and implementing innovative strategies, such as a Dragons’ Den-style investment panel and a story book of the Trust’s financial accounts to improve public engagement

Winners of Deputy Finance Director of the Year and Finance Team of the Year at the HFMA Awards 2017

Claire Liddy, Deputy Finance Director, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (invited)


Case Study: Buying Better - Transforming Procurement Functions to Achieve Dramatic Savings

  • Demonstrating how the Trust achieved a dramatic turnaround of its procurement function in 18 months
  • Reporting a £34m defcit in 2015/16, £2m better than its initial control total thanks to delivering a cost improvement plan of £43m
  • Achieving savings of nearly £8m a year in 2016/17, compared to less than £4m the previous year
  • Developing a procurement and supplies strategy centred around developing the people and team, creating and embedding efficient processes, and building strong partnerships with stakeholders inside and outside the trust
  • Detailing how the transformation led to significant savings, better-trained staff and streamlined processes

Ben Shaw, Head of Procurement and Supplies, University
Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Improving Standards of the NHS Financial Management Workforce Through Continuing Professional Development

  • Acknowledging the current pressures facing NHS financial leaders and the need to find solutions to problems surrounding staff shortages, length of tenure and high turnover
  • Outlining the key attributes needed by finance staff through the development of a ‘Finance Staff Behavioural Skills’ framework, underpinned by the ‘Four Strengths’ framework
  • Providing various levels of support for finance leaders and aspiring leaders in the form of local and national networks, which offer opportunities to develop skills, forge links and access master classes and interview preparation
  • Evaluating the learning and development status of a finance team within a provider or commissioner to identify where financial practices can be made more efficient and productive

David Ellcock, Programme Director, Future-Focused Finance, NHS England (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Implementing The Carter Review – Tomorrow’s Procurement Roadmap

  • Highlighting national achievements from the Carter Review implementation journey and the future of procurement transformation within the NHS
  • Considering the findings from the 2018 report, ‘Operational productivity and performance in NHS Ambulance Trusts: unwarranted variations’
  • Outlining the next steps, including reducing unwarranted variation and increasing operational productivity in mental health and community health services
  • Harnessing internal knowledge to execute a sustainable procurement transformation programme for the future
  • Encouraging greater collaboration and leveraging purchasing power to deliver better value for money for Trusts and the taxpayer

Bob Alexander, Associate Director of Health, CIPFA (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Reducing Agency Spend - How Five People Saved Five Million

  • Examining the ‘How Five People Saved Five Million’ project, which saw a change in organisational behaviours by establishing a central, commercially-focused agency team
  • Detailing how the hugely challenged Acute Trust has achieved savings of £7 million in 2.5 years and taken over the work-stream of a neighbouring MH and CH Trust, demonstrating that the model works in all sectors and staff groups
  • Considering the pressures and constraints that the Trust faced, such as size, geographical location and an over-reliance on agency workers, and how they reduced their vacancy rate from 31% to 22%
  • Establishing clear processes for agencies to adhere to, and improving the negotiation cycle by giving suppliers specific timeframes
  • Instigating performance tables for Tier 1 and 2 agencies to effectively measure compliance, price, commission and speed of submission
  • Learning from the Trust’s journey and discussing the importance of establishing Board-level ownership of spending issues

Amanda Dunkley, Attraction and Agency Lead, and David Allen, Head of Programme Management Office (PMO), North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing Effective Training for Financial Staff and Raising the Financial Awareness of Non-Financial Employees

  • Adopting a holistic and dynamic approach and using multiple examples of best practice, including Future-Focused Finance and Finance Skills Development networks
  • Creating a developmental infrastructure that seeks to add value to the organisation as a whole, concentrating on finance skills and financial awareness
  • Adopting learning from NHS FFF to spread financial knowledge and focus on value
  • Demonstrating best practice in the training of finance staff and raising financial awareness among non-finance staff

Winners of the 2017 Havelock Training Award 2017

Suzanne Robinson, Finance Director, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks

*programme subject to change

The NHS as a whole ended 2017/18 with a deficit of £960 million. In light of increasing financial pressures, the NHS has been tasked with delivering £22 billion in savings by the end of the financial year 2020/2021.  The current and continuing pressures facing the finances of the NHS require innovative solutions that are able to deliver specific cost and efficiency savings without negatively impacting patient care.

Lord Carter’s report, Operational productivity and performance in NHS Ambulance Trusts: unwarranted variations, estimates that removing unwarranted variation from trust spend could achieve savings of £5 billion by 2020. Of this, £3 billion has been agreed in principle by the 136 acute trusts in England. The NHS has to deliver efficiencies of 2-3% per year, effectively placing a 10-15% real terms cost reduction target on trusts to achieve by April 2021. Lord Carter’s recommendations outline that the provision of high-quality clinical care and effective resource management go in tandem, and that a single reporting framework should be adopted across all trusts to centralise performance data and facilitate effective benchmarking by establishing a ‘best in class’.

It is essential that services share best practice to address unwarranted variation and continue to deliver on the Five Year Forward View. Good financial management and collaboration across disciplines are paramount to the sustainability of NHS services. Providers must establish a necessary framework to secure efficiencies, encourage transformation and achieve savings to promote greater management and a financially-viable NHS.

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