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Having worked in Financial Management for 15 years, I was more than a little apprehensive about stepping out of my comfort zone and moving to the Costing Team over a year ago, but was looking forward to a new challenge. However, when I saw the extent of clinical data the team had access to, I was frankly amazed and found it incredibly exciting!
Reflecting on my time within financial management, I can remember many occasions where I now think "if I only knew then what I know now", I would have been able to provide so much more support to the operational teams I worked with.
I remember numerous head scratching sessions with service managers and operational colleagues trying to think of waste and improvement opportunities, often coming up against "we're really efficient", or "we've already tried doing that". PLICS has opened up a whole new world of analysis that I never knew existed, I thought that costing was just about calculating how much each patient cost, without realising the volumes of clinical data available to do this. From working with the team, I've learned how we can search for opportunities through identifying variations, as well as comparing our LOS or operating times with other trusts at a procedure or HRG level.
What I would say to colleagues working within a financial management role is this. Contact your costing team to find out what is available and like me I'm sure you'll be impressed, and think 'how did I ever do my job without this?'