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My name is Amy Denning and I am the Senior Finance Manager for Central and Corporate Services at Airedale NHS Trust.
I joined the finance team at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust on the 14th April, two weeks into the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, I knew the first few weeks would be tough, but I could never have imagined how tough. Thankfully I already knew a lot of my new colleagues as I had been TUPE’d into their subsidiary company two years prior. The first week was emotional! Being a social person, I was still getting used to the idea of working from home. Being in an open plan setting, chatting across the desks to colleagues and catching up over a brew in the kitchen suits me. Sitting at my dining table at home with a 4 year old chasing about, constantly wanting me to do, look at, or play something was a whole new world! Add to that a new team, a new manager, a year end I knew very little about and a pandemic, life suddenly felt very uncertain.
I have to admit I had regrets in the first month, I had moved from a job that I knew inside out, to something that was very new, very busy, and a little bit scary! Because the team were still working on closing the year end, I had very little contact in the first few days, in fact I don’t think I actually spoke to anyone until day 3, when I decided to arrange a team meeting and ‘meet’ my team for the first time using Microsoft teams. Why I didn’t do that on day 1 I don’t know!
Three months in, I am enjoying my role. As a team we have achieved so much and have a lot to be proud of. We have implemented a brand new COVID and Operational Reset financial governance process that has ensured financial decisions are made in an efficient and effective manner at the correct level. This has supported clinical colleagues in delivering exceptional patient care during the pandemic. In addition to this we have reviewed and improved the financial information we produce for the organisation so that we can add value as a service and really make a difference. There is a strong desire throughout the team to achieve excellence through consistent improvement despite the effects of the pandemic.
There have been a number of personnel changes in the department since the beginning of the pandemic, with some new faces joining the trust and others moving to different roles. It has also been a challenging time for recruiting managers who have had to carry out interviews and inductions virtually whilst trying to integrate new starters into the existing finance team.
We have reflected on what has worked well for us over the last few months and what we would like to introduce going forward to create the suggestions below which may help others who are recruiting / starting new roles in these unusual times: