One NHS Finance was a national online conversation that offered everyone working in the finance community the opportunity to share current challenges, new ideas and input into how we shape the future of the function for the better.

The initial conversation was launched on 24 September 2020 and in total 2,000 people logged into the conversation. Together they shared 285 ideas, 1,234 comments and 13,060 votes totalling 14,579 contributions, exploring five key subjects:

  • Making a difference for patients

If we were to maximise our potential, what impact could the finance community have on patient outcomes and people's experiences of using the NHS?

  • Attracting, retaining and developing people in the NHS Finance Community

What do we need to start doing, stop doing or do differently to ensure we attract, retain and develop finance professionals in the NHS?

  • Improving the way we work

What do we need to start doing, stop doing or do differently for us to improve the way we work within organisations, at a system level and nationally?

  • Building a compassionate and inclusive culture

How can we create a sense of belonging and promote a more inclusive culture?

  • Impact of Covid-19

What impact has the Covid pandemic had on your work, positive or negative, what can be done to support you, and what lessons can we learn?

Some important messages that emerged:

  • Finance staff reported feeling very positive about working in NHS finance and the discussion was a rich and robust conversation.
  • Participants largely felt positive about the contribution of the finance community and their role within the NHS.
  • The majority of participants feel supported by their colleagues and manager, are happy with the amount of responsibility they are given, and have opportunities to use their skills. Numbers are slightly lower for participants getting recognition and feeling valued by their organisation.
  • Patients are and always must be at the heart of what we do
  • Participants shared a desire to use the current climate of change to ensure that finance prioritises fairness for people along with a renewed sense of 'doing the right thing' by the person and the NHS as a whole
  • Collaboration and consistency will help us to shape a better future together
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion must be at the top of everyone's agenda - both within leadership and across teams
  • Training, development, and career progression opportunites should be at the forefront for our people and for devloping home-grown talent

When the data was analysed from the conversation, three strategic themes emerged, which are the areas for action, to be taken forwards in response to the views of participants, along with an emerging vision for the finance community in the future.

  • Developing our people
  • Developing our community
  • Developing our systems and processes

We are analysing the results of the second conversation and will be sharing an action plan with the NHS finance community very soon.