The Board’s role in ensuring adequate financial controls are in place has never been more important to the NHS. This lively and informal session identified key issues board members must address to give assurance that financial stability will be maintained, risks will be identified and that policies and procedures promote good governance.
Financial jargon and understanding financial reports was covered in detail in practical workshop sessions and the event closed with ‘Ten Questions to ask your Director of Finance’.
Comments from today’s event include (with written permission received from each):
“Excellent session.” – Julia Brown, Managing Director, Enfield Community Services
“Really good.” – Maria Da Silva, Chief Operating Officer, Whittington Healthcare
“A very useful session – pitched at right level.” – Lynn Saunders, Director of Business Development, Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust
“Questions were very good.” – Murray Keith, Director of Strategy & Business Development, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Here are the resources from the day:
Code of conduct: code of accountability in the NHS – 2nd rev ed – DH Publication
A Guide to Finance for Hospital Doctors – Audit Commission Report
Learning the Lessons from Financial Failure in the NHS – Audit Commission Report July 2006
NHS Foundation Trust Accounting Officer Memorandum – Monitor 17 April 2008
2012-02-20 The Board’s Role in Financial Control – Presentation Slides (pdf)
Jargon – 15 Jargon words or phrases in NHS Finance (pdf)
Ten Questions to ask your Director of Finance:
1. What are the main reasons for any deviation from financial plan?
2. What are the main risks to the organisation meeting its financial targets?
3. What action needs to be taken to address any deviations and potential risks?
4. What level of contingency reserve does the Finance Director have to deal with any emergencies?
5. What is the Trust’s liquidity position and how does this relate to the reported I&E position?
6. Why has the debtors/creditors figure changed?
7. What action has been taken to reduce debtors and improve cash flow?
8. What are the main risks to long term financial stability?
9. How do the Trust’s costs and performance compare to other similar trusts?
10. What steps are being taken by management to improve performance/efficiency?
Many thanks to everyone involved. Please feel free to get in contact if you have any queries or would like some support.