Do you know what's what?


By Paul Carey-Kent, Policy Manager, CIPFA

What’s the secret of successful integration? There are many factors in play, but perhaps the most basic requirement is to ensure that the people involved understand each other. CIPFA, working in partnership with HFMA, has updated the Glossary for NHS and local government finance and governance (PDF, 348 KB).

This helpful guide sets out what finance staff in the NHS who are working with local government need to know about how local government works, and explains what finance terms mean in local government. Similarly, it explains the health system and its terms for the local government reader.

Such knowledge is made more important by the use of different terms to mean the same thing or some of the same terms, such as ‘balanced budget’ or ‘over-performance’, to mean different things. 

Test yourself with these questions

If you work in local government:

  1. Which NHS organisation is responsible for commissioning specialised services?
  2. What does NICE stand for, and what does it do?
  3. What is a ‘pathway price’?
  4. What is CQUIN?
  5. What is a ‘HRG’ and where would it be used?

If you work in health:

  1. How many types of local authority are there? 
  2. What is a precept, and how does it work?
  3. What does the Section 151 Officer have to do?
  4. What is prudential borrowing?
  5. What is a ‘HRA’? 

If you are confident, congratulations! You may not need the glossary – though you may know someone who does. If you’re not so sure, the glossary can help and is available to download below:

Glossary for NHS and local government finance and governance (PDF, 348 KB).

Discover more:

  • CIPFA also offers a one day integration training package, designed to teach each sector about the other and act as a stimulant for collaboration. Find out more.

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