Webinar: How Finance Teams Can Help Drive Integration


CIPFA and HFMA held a joint webinar to consider how finance teams can help with integration, featuring David Northey from Plymouth as guest speaker.

By way of introductory assessment of the current position, participants of the webinar were asked:

  1. To what extent is your organisation involved in integration? 52% said very involved, 32 % involved, 4 % not involved, 12% no view expressed
  2. What are the main barriers to integration? Politics 38%, rules 21%, funding issues 21%, lack of time 8%, other 13%.
Accountable Care Organisations are emerging as preferred model of integration, said David, with Northumberland the first such, but results as yet awaited. And the finance function has a critical role. Plymouth has been flying ‘under the radar’ by pooling and aligning budgets (including, unusually, alignment with the Dedicated Schools Grant) to form ‘One System, One Budget’ for Plymouth. 

It all started, he said, with a meeting which illustrated the importance of communication in bringing together two very different cultures by building trust. Joint away days have carried on that spirit, while a joint risk register and joint audit committee (to which a single audit programme, coordinated across the internal audit teams involved, reports) illustrate the substance in the collaboration. There is a ‘risk share agreement’ to cover any overspend up to 0.5% of the net £460m pooled budget, that’s set pro rata to organisations’ contributions – Plymouth’s maximum is £0.5m.

Discover more:

  • You can see the full webinar here
  • Below is a video series made by Plymouth which explains their approach

Video 1 Video 2  Video 3