The NELFT Finance department received an accolade recently from the NHS Finance Leadership Council (FLC). The Council awarded NELFT Future Focused Finance Level 1 accreditation. Currently, only NHS Improvement and NELFT have this level of accreditation in London. The accreditation was launched in December 2016 and aims to demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to the development of finance skills across the workforce.
To find out more about FFF and how NELFT benefits, we spoke to Andrew Ringshaw (Associate Director of Finance – Financial strategy and Planning) to find out more about the accreditation:
We have recently achieved Future Focused Finance Level 1 accreditation and there are only NELFT and NHS Improvements in London with this? Can you explain what FFF is please?
Future Focused Finance is an initiative for the NHS aimed at driving up standards in finance. Having three levels of accreditation, it has been developed to give recognition to those organisations that have the very best finance skills, development culture and practices in place. There are six standards, including infrastructure, personal development, professional development, career planning, corporate financial competence and business controls and policy. Within these standards there are a number of questions and evidence that has been required to meet the award.
When setting out to gain this award, we had a look at what we do and provide to the organisation and are able to measure what we are good at and what improvement could be made. We as a team have recognised the importance of looking to continuously improve and one of the main outcomes of this was to re-energise the support to our students, accountancy body members and the team as a whole in training them for the future and to grow our own talent through apprenticeships and graduate support.
What are the benefits to NELFT?
We aspire to be a best in class finance function that supports the Trust to achieve its objectives. Through this accreditation we now have external validation that NELFT has a well-developed finance function, with the relevant tools to influence decision making in support of high-quality patient services. This will assist us to attract talent, as we are the only Trust in London to have achieved this accreditation and it highlights the effort and support in developing staff and equipping them with the tools to aide clinical staff in making good financial decision.
Is the plan to next go for Level 2 accreditation?
The award lasts for three years, but we are now planning on achieving Level 2, this will entail an external assessor to review our evidence - which has a higher standard than Level 1. We plan to start to pull our submission together later in the year.
Thanks to Andrew for explain about the accreditation. To read more about Future Focused Finance, visit the website at www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk