Improving Finance Skills and Financial Awareness

Author: Sophie RoweDate: 6 months 1 week Ago

The Fabulous Finance Team at North Staffs Combined has enabled them to go from strength to strength; in terms of their commitment to improving finance skills and financial awareness at the Trust.   With the support of the Director of Finance, who signed the FFF FD declaration on her first day at the Trust in March 2016, the team have created a developmental infrastructure with their comparatively small team that supports “adding value’ to the organisation as a whole.  They have concentrated on both finance skills and awareness in equal measures.
The team has always demonstrated commitment to Finance Skills Development. This year they managed to take this to a new level, concentrating on how the team can be more responsive to the needs of the organisation.  This has not only been rewarding for the finance team as part of their personal development, but feedback from the trust showed they are making a real difference to their working lives.
At the Value Maker Annual Conference Nick shared with attendees some of the projects developed by the team at North Staffs:
Value makers – they launched the Combined Valuemakers in early 2017 which is an interactive website where staff or service users can submit ideas for efficiency, cost improvement or adding value onto the online portal. Once ideas are submitted, the finance team manage responses, contact all idea submitters and those who ideas result in a cost saving are awarded a value makers badge! It’s a great tool for engaging the Trust and supports them in delivering our cost improvement programme.
Animated Videos – when preparing for the AGM, the FSD group brain stormed on how they could present the accounts in a way that was easy to understand, and as a Mental Health & Learning Disability Provider, how they could further engage staff and service users. They wanted them to understand how they spend their money to deliver value. They developed a cartoon format, shown as part of the AGM. Many viewers said it was the first year they genuinely understood the numbers. The concept has been rolled out across the Trust describing what cost Improvement means and patient level costing. 
Clinicians Working with Finance – as part of this programme they held a ‘Listening into Action Big Conversation’ to gauge the level of financial awareness from their consultant body. This led to a whole engagement piece on how we can work better together and with their input they designed a number of specific roles that they could undertake on finance projects. Expressions of Interest were sought with a wide range of respondents ranging from those towards the end of their career who were looking for an exciting addition to their role, to those who were training and recognized a gap in their financial awareness.
As a result of the fantastic work the finance team have been doing around finance skills and financial awareness, the trust won the HFMA Havelock Training Award in 2017.
More information on the Fabulous Finance Team at North Staffs can be found on the attachment.