Many nurses, when confronted with the reality of spreadsheets, budgets and financial planning may well feel it is an activity best left to accountants and Finance Directors.
But in reality, more and more Nurse Specialists are budget holders. All nurse specialists need to be able to demonstrate the cost effective nature of their service and the income they generate.
In order to facilitate and encourage clinical participation in the financial planning of services, a new initiative called Future Focused Finance has been launched by the NHS.
Here Sam Sherrington, Head of Stakeholder and Cultural Transformation Finance Directorate, Future Focused Finance explains what the project is all about and how nurse specialists can be involved :-
What is Future-Focused Finance?
NHS finance has made an enormous contribution to the success of the health service in its first 65 years. However we’re now working in a climate where the health provision and commissioning landscape is still new and the challenges are high – demand is growing and funding is flatter.
This is why the six heads of the finance profession in the NHS have come together to initiate Future-Focused Finance which offers a vision for NHS finance to aspire to over the next five years. To deliver the transformation required to bring about the vision over the next few years, we have organised our initial thinking around three strategic themes: securing excellence, knowing the business and fulfilling our potential. Each theme has specific action areas which will be led by a senior responsible officer drawn from the service.
Is this just for finance people?
Future-Focused Finance is about ‘Making People Count’. That includes everyone who works in finance, in every role at every level, those we work with to deliver services and the patients and communities that use and support those services.
One of the action areas is around ‘Close Partnering’, and will look specifically at the engagement of clinicians and patients with finance, so they can have a greater understanding of the financial challenges and contribute directly to the solutions.
How can I get engaged?
We have a Communications Hub website at www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk where anyone can join and become a part of the community we’re building.
We’re encouraging finance and non-finance teams to run a local workshop centred on the Future-Focused Finance strategic themes and action areas – a number have already shared their experiences, materials and learning on the Communications Hub website.
We are currently recruiting our first cohort of Value Makers, in mirror of the well know Care Makers scheme. Finance and non-finance support staff, clinicians and health service users can apply. Being a value maker involves being an ambassador for Future-Focused Finance, broadening experiences and networking with like-minded people whilst helping to spread important messages and shared development.
So, in answer to the question ‘is managing the money my job?’ it’s clear that clinicians have an important role to play ensuring their clinical services are effectively financed and provide value for money. Nurse Specialists within Stoma Care are increasingly engaging with Commissioners and Medicines Management to demonstrate cost effective patient centred prescribing and consider it an important aspect of their role. You can find out more about the initiative http://www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk/pg/dashboard
And watch this short animation at http://youtu.be/e0NdFRTo-ac
There are a number of articles which will give you further information and these can be found through these links:
Healthcare Finance (Mar): http://www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk/dl/cv_content/102565
Public Finance (Apr): http://www.futurefocusedfinance.nhs.uk/dl/cv_content/108153