Finance Leadership Council Strategy - 2018-2022

Author: Camilla GodfreyDate: 7 months 4 weeks Ago

As the NHS evolves and adapts to the constant change in health needs in England, Future-Focused Finance (FFF) has a responsibility to reflect this change in its core values and through refreshed objectives and projects.

The Finance Leadership Council (FLC) have agreed a new strategic direction to take FFF through the next five years to 2022. The new strategy will see FFF working closely with the Skills Development Network



FFF will focus on strategic objectives as part of the new strategy, that will be refreshed every two years. The current objectives include:

  • Improve equity of access and diversity

Ensure that all who work within the finance function, or are interested in a career in NHS finance, have equal access to career opportunities and development. This objective will be delivered through both existing and new SDN and Future-Focused Finance (FFF) work, including ensuring that the SDN (previously FSD) minimum standards are delivered.

  • Consistently measure and provide evidence of function standards

This objective relates to both processes and culture. The further roll-out of accreditation is a key tool in providing assurance of engagement in staff development and fit for purpose finance departments. Provision and promotion of tools that support efficient transacting will also be a key part of delivering this objective.

  • Function-wide commitment to staff development

Recognising that some regions have a strong culture of staff development, however, this is not consistent nationally and work is required to develop those areas currently less engaged. FLC are committed to ensuring that Finance Directors deliver on their responsibility to provide leadership of staff development. This also means developing finance skills in clinicians and other non-finance staff.

  • Grow talent and leaders

Developing networks for people at all stages of their career to ensure there is a diverse pipeline of leadership talent. This is underpinned with tools to demonstrate different career routes and opportunities to attract people and help them identify how they can best use their talents in NHS finance.

  • Drive value

Supporting NHS finance departments to work within their own health economy to improve outcomes or reduce resources without compromising either. Guiding the finance function in remaining focused on patient care using value-based decision making despite experiencing system change and increased pressure.

  • Build resilience

In a climate of sustained financial deficit the requirement to build resilient individuals, teams and a wider NHS finance function is vital. This objective will prioritise how we approach building resilience across the function. It will also consider ways to manage talent within the function, including those at mid-point in terms of their professional life, particularly where they are subject to the impact of mergers or changing role requirements. As a newer area of development for the programme this objective requires some gap analysis and project work-up to identify potential outputs.

Work will fall under five new key themes that will replace the old action areas. The five themes are:

  1. Driving and Designing Finance to Adapt to System Change - widening our scope of vision, responding to changing demands in a way that results in improvement. This includes challenging our perceptions of what can be achieved as well as the pace and scale of change. Using experience from other sectors and how they have embraced innovation and opportunities whilst maintaining continuity of service. This means reviewing change through the system lens, acknowledging the climate of financial deficit, to identify the right opportunities to deliver sustainable improvement even where this feels uncomfortable. This theme will be essential in identifying challenging objectives for delivery from 2020.
  2. Culture - promoting good values, psychology, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. Creating environments where people can fulfil their potential. This also means building resilience for both the function and the individuals working within it, recognising that wellbeing is as essential to good performance as technical ability; that good organisational culture is essential in delivering good patient care.
  1. Workforce & Leadership - programmes and tools to support system-wide talent development. Looking forward to identify the skills that the workforce will need in the coming 5-10 years and helping people develop those skills. This includes networks for those with the potential and appetite to be finance leaders as well as those who create stability and sustainability through their experience and dedication. It will also mean actively supporting those whose behaviours mean they are not yet able to meet the needs of the modern finance function.
  1. Engagement & Development - equitable access to opportunities for all to develop their knowledge of NHS finance. Developing finance knowledge across organisations, not just for those working within the finance function, and demonstrating how finance plays a key role in delivering good patient care.
  1. Efficiency & Value - promoting ways of working that improve outcomes or reduce resources without compromising either. Embracing opportunities presented by shared services so that organisations can think beyond their own boundaries and identify where change on system-wide basis results in shared benefit and improved value for patients and tax payers.

Both existing and new projects will be developed under each of these five themes - that are led by NHS leaders in the finance function - and FFF will work closely with the Skills Development Network to deliver them.  This is a key objective of the five-year strategy set by the FLC, and the Foundation - that brings both initiatives together - will lead and guide on this collaborative working.

As usual, new projects and work will be promoted on the FFF website and social media platforms, but if you want further information or have any questions about the new strategy then please email the team on