Get on track with business partnering in the NHS


There is growing acknowledgement that modern organisations need a finance team which operates collaboratively alongside other professionals; which is seen as a positive advocate of change, not a risk-averse blocker of actions perceived as uncertain. That’s not to downgrade the importance of stewardship and good governance, but to recognise the advantages which can be achieved when, in CIPFA’s definition of the concept:

The business partner supports sound financial decision making and promotes good financial management so that resources are stretched as far as possible to provide public services that people need and want.

The vision for the finance function is to lead innovation, add value, manage risk and reduce costs through close partnering with service managers and clinicians. This vision is very much in tune with the thrust of the Future Focused Finance programme, reflecting the need to respond to current pressures, and the increasing relevance of integrated and devolved approaches to management.

So, how can you go about it? CIPFA has recently developed two new ways of supporting health colleagues in this area.

Publication: Excellent Finance Partner in the NHS

CIPFA’s 2015 publication The Excellent Finance Business Partner is a comprehensive examination of the principles and practice across the whole of the public sector. However, CIPFA wants to make sure the NHS in particular can apply the thinking as efficiently as possible, and so the Health Panel in conjunction with FFF has overseen an edited version which aims to streamline the reading, add practical tools and provide a focus on the issues which matter in the NHS.

Our new publication, The Excellent Finance Business Partner in the NHS, turns on a series of easily-assimilated checklists which enable finance leaders in the NHS to make a rapid assessment of their organisation and function’s readiness to adopt the business partnering approach, put in place the right preparatory measures, and then implement it successfully. The detail is tied into the checklists and complemented by case studies, which should make the book a useful tool to focus effort where it is needed most, and give access to the appropriate level of detail for the practical purpose.

The emphasis on practical checklists can be seen in the contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction and Strategic Context

Checklist A: Are You Ready?

Chapter 2: The Skills required to be a Successful Finance Business Partner

Checklist B: Technical Skills

Checklist C: Behavioural Skills

Checklist D: Strategic, Commercial and Clinical Awareness

Chapter 3: How to Implement a Business Partnering Approach

Checklist E: Implementation Requirements

Checklist F: Potential Challenges

Chapter 4: Summary

Take advantage of this month's introductory offer* of £70 for the Excellent Finance Business Partner in the NHS (pdf 39.58 KB) publication - 50% off the regular price.

Click here to order

*Offer valid until 22 April 2016

Qualification: Finance Business Partnering – Post Graduate Certificate (level seven)

CIPFA is an advocate of the development of the finance business partnering role in public bodies. Finance professionals in the public sector have developed their role by evaluating how they can best support their organisations in a strategic as well as operational sense. 

This adaptation to their role has enhanced the relationship between finance and non-finance professionals across the organisation, with finance professionals earning their position and putting finance at the heart of decision making.

CIPFA is delighted to be able to support this approach and to develop the different skill sets and approaches required to operate effectively as a Finance Business Partner (FBP) through this new qualification.

Find out more and book your place