What we heard from the first conversation
The initial conversation was launched in September 2020, where 2,000 people logged in sharing over 14,500 contributions. All of the contributions were read and thematically analysed. This has formed a new vision for the finance community, and is underpinned by a set of commitments and three strategic priorities which will set out what we will focus on over the years ahead.
Participants expressed a common purpose and wanted the finance community to work collectively in the future to drive value for patient services. This is our draft vision statement:
We are proud to be part of the NHS finance function; we feel supported, sufficiently challenged, and valued as part of the NHS family. As a community of finance professionals, we know that our roles are considered essential for creating and delivering the healthcare strategies of the future and making sure the population has access to quality support and services, when and where they need it.
We are a diverse and inclusive group of people with a broad range of skills, we are innovators and problem solvers who are always aiming to make sure we are providing great value. We share information and best practice across the country to ensure we are efficient and effective, continuously improving and learning from each other.
We work in an environment where everyone is treated respectfully and fairly, everyone has a voice, and everyone can share their ideas to make improvements in our work. We know by working together we can create the opportunity for people to develop in a community where they feel valued and appreciated. Where NHS Finance is recognised as a great place to work while delivering world class healthcare.
Together we are OneNHSFinance
In addition to the emergent vision for the future, 5 meta-themes crossed through the whole data set and ran across the whole conversation. These have been extracted below to highlight what the finance community would like to commit to going forwards:
- Patient at the heart – some staff felt that their roles within finance were directly connected to the needs of the people we serve but more often staff identified their role as enablers of the wider organisation rather than patients. Connecting staff more closely with the people and services they provide would improve quality and enable better decision making.
- Collaboration - Collaboration was a theme that came up throughout the whole conversation with a focus on how the finance community can work together, across Trusts and geographical boundaries, to share knowledge and ideas, learnings, and solutions, and make use of technology to enable this.
- Innovation – the finance community identified improvements to working practices across a range of current processes and new annotative ideas to improve the impact of their work.
- Fairness – partly related to the request for greater consistency is the need for more fairness in the application of policies and systems. There is 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.
- Consistency – participants want greater consistency in the application of policies, systems and processes so there is only necessary differences across organisations with consistency and standardisation where practical.
Through analysing all the feedback, three key themes emerged and these would form our strategic priority areas for the next 5 years:
- Developing Our People - ensuring that all finance colleagues are valued, given the right support within an inclusive culture and have opportunties to develop their careers in NHS Finance to realise their potential
- Developing Our Community - working together across boundaries to create a community of practice where people can learn from each other and collectively improve, making NHS Finance an attractive, meaningful and rewarding place to work
- Developing Our Systems and Processes - striving for greater consistency and standardisation across processes and systems to support them to do the their jobs efficiently, effectively and to the best of their abilities so we can offer the best possible value for money