Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance
Toward the end of 2016 we updated our communications and in January 2017 we re-launched the Future-Focused Finance website following a major overhaul of the way we shared web-based content. In the new version we have made the site much easier to navigate and can now easily direct users to relevant tools and literature to help them in their everyday working. We have an interactive map which allows users to identify fellow Value Maker and FACE network members in their own area. You can find the website here.
We have also started to publish regular monthly newsletters, as well as special editions outlining any key launches taking place that month. We want to make sure that the newsletters stay relevant and interesting to our readers. We also want to dedicate sections of the newsletter to colleagues connected with finance as a simple way of sharing relevant available resources. Please contact us on E: firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything that you would like to see included in future editions of the newsletter.
We have used the website as a portal to web-based resources, including the systems maturity toolkit. The newly launched toolkit is designed to allow each organisation to benchmark its finance systems against industry standards in nine process areas. Once completed the outputs will enable organisations to assess which process areas are performing well and to identify which areas offer opportunity to improve efficiency and release time for activities which add more value.
The website is also being used by the Finance and Clinical Educator (FACE) network to develop and share resources to help achieve their aim of 'demystifying finance' for NHS colleagues. Examples of shared resources include presentations, animations, educational games and posters, all of which are aimed at individuals without a finance background. The network continues to grow and develop, with the support and guidance of a group of network leaders who are shaping and nurturing the network to achieve its aims.
The Best Possible Value (BPV) action area continues to promote the use of the decision effectiveness framework, with more content being regularly added to the website. The next development will be in the role of BPV specialists: individuals who have already been through a decision making process using the framework and are now able to support others who are keen to implement it locally.
Focusing on the skills and strengths required of an NHS finance professional, we launched the Four Strengths Framework which supports the local personal development planning of finance colleagues. The four key strengths – which the Finance Leadership Council believes everybody working in NHS finance should be able to demonstrate – are: being a finance expert, being a team player, driving value and making change happen. FFF will continue to promote the framework over the coming year, encouraging finance teams to embed the Four Strengths within their existing appraisal and personal development processes.
Working with our partner organisation, HFMA, we have established the NHS Finance Leaders National Talent Pool. We received over 100 applications to the national pool and successful applicants will be invited to attend a two-day development centre in June resulting in an individualised personal development plan and ongoing support for each candidate. Under the leadership of a national steering group the process will run annually to create a diverse pool of talent and improve the quality and number of applications for future finance leadership vacancies.
Underpinning this work will be four regional networks, allowing individuals who aspire to become finance leaders of the future to network regionally and develop the skills that will be required to follow that career trajectory. We plan to launch the first regional networks in autumn 2017.
In recognition of the importance of the development of NHS finance staff the Future-Focused Finance Accreditation System was launched. The accreditation process is designed to allow the NHS Finance Leadership Council to give due recognition to those NHS organisations that have achieved the best finance skills development culture and practices. Bolton CCG has become the first to achieve accreditation, at level two, and it will be working towards level three over the next 12 months. FFF will be encouraging other NHS organisations to apply for accreditation and the ability to self-assess for level one accreditation is designed to make this accessible and achievable.
I cannot close this update without recognising the ongoing development and success of the Value Maker and FACE networks. Many individuals are now using these networks as a way to enhance their own personal development and spread good practice among their own departments and organisations. We aim to see these networks grow in number during 2017 and anyone interested in applying can find out more via the website.