Thinking about a career in NHS Finance?
Further Information to get you started.
With a £120 billion plus annual NHS budget, strong financial management is essential to ensure that this public money is effectively spent on the nation’s health. There are over 19000 people working in NHS Finance across the UK.* With demand for health services and new treatment options ever increasing, achieving best value for patients involves detailed calculations. Often working closely with medical staff, finance people in the NHS have a strong sense of making a real difference and helping others. To be successful you do not need to be a mathematical genius but you do need to be numerate, able to assimilate information and work well with others. The work is challenging but enormously rewarding.
The NHS has an outstanding track record for developing finance staff. Across the UK, 56% of NHS finance staff have or are studying for a formal finance qualification.* The NHS has long had an excellent graduate trainee scheme but also apprenticeship routes too. Apart from support for studying the formal accountancy exams, ongoing personal development is a high priority. NHS Finance has a strong professional body, the HFMA which provides further support and networking. So successful is this wide ranging development, a large number progress to senior management and Board level positions.
Many of the finance jobs are in NHS Trusts which each provide specific services for a particular geographical area or specialised function. Other areas of opportunity exist within CCGs which focus on planning services across an area. Generally, there is continual demand for good people at trainee level and as you build your abilities, so the demand for your skills increases, especially given that there are acute shortages of talent for certain roles requiring NHS knowledge.
For further information on these exciting career options
have a look at the following:-
NHS Jobs is the dedicated online recruitment service for the NHS and other health related organisations. The site receives around 20,000 adverts every month, therefore, if you are looking for a career in the NHS or in a health related organisation this site is essential viewing https://www.jobs.nhs.uk
The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme has been running since 1956. It has produced many inspirational leaders, including Sir David Nicholson, former Chief Executive of the NHS. And it’s created lots of life defining opportunities. This could be the beginning of yours. http://www.nhsgraduates.co.uk
Independent Overview of the Scheme. https://www.graduate-jobs.com/scheme/nhs
Further Information on NHS Careers and development:-
Health Careers is the information service about the range of 350 or so careers available in health. https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk
They are part of Health Education England and their aim is to support people in education and at all stages of their career to discover more about the health roles that are available, and how to get in and get on.
Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is the professional body for the healthcare finance profession where members get practical resources, insightful thought leadership, support with personal growth and CPD and access to an influential network. They seek to represent, support and provide high quality, independent and objective advice to thier members and the wider healthcare community. https://www.hfma.org.uk
The NHS Skills Development Network operates across NHS organisations in England. Its remit is to provide the infrastructure for improving leadership and professional development skills, raising standards and sharing best practice through economy-wide learning. The Skills Development Network uses a dedicated website, www.skillsdevelopmentnetwork.com, to publicise and support its work. The website is the primary source of information for all staff in providing resources for personal and organisational development.
As part of Health Education England (HEE), the NHS Leadership Academy’s philosophy is simple – great leadership development improves leadership behaviours and skills. Better leadership leads to better patient care, experience and outcomes. Their purpose is to work with their partners to deliver excellent leadership across the NHS to have a direct impact on patient care. They offer a range of tools, models, programmes and expertise to support individuals, organisations and local partners to develop leaders, celebrating and sharing where outstanding leadership makes a real difference. http://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk
NHS Wales Finance Academy their ambition is to create a finance function that is “Best suited to Wales but comparable with the best anywhere”. Their vision for NHS Wales is Finance Adding Value, with four themes – People, Innovation and Partnership and Excellence. http://www.financeacademy.wales.nhs.uk
NHSScotland offers a huge range of exciting and challenging opportunities for people who are passionate about making a difference. 162,192 people are employed by NHSScotland (June 2017). They work across 14 territorial NHS Boards, seven Special NHS Boards and one public health body. Each board is supported by the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. Increasingly the workforce in NHSScotland is based outside traditional hospital settings, working instead in GP surgeries, clinics and health centres in the community; and with partner organisations, local authorities and the Scottish Government. http://www.careers.nhs.scot
Health & Social Care Northern Ireland each Trust is committed to providing appropriate learning and development opportunities to all staff. HSC training is designed to equip employees with the skills and knowledge they need to undertake their jobs to the highest standard while developing themselves to progress in their careers. https://www.hscrecruit.com
Recognised Finance Qualifications
If you have a degree or AAT qualification, there are 4 different accountancy qualifications recognised in the NHS
Let’s now take a look at the various finance job vacancies that commonly come up within the NHS and the skills, experience and qualifications you will need to be a relevant and potentially successful candidate.
Finance Job Opportunities within the NHS
1. Key Positions within the Finance Team
High calibre candidates are always sought to strengthen teams and usually offer excellent development and progression prospects. Vacancies that we typically see coming up include:
A. Management Accountant
Salary range: £19,217 – £41,373 p.a.
Much of the time of a Management Accountant will be spent working with operational budget holders to understand their positions and to support them with areas which need to be changed or adapted. The post typically carries study support for achieving a CCAB accounting qualification.
B. Cost Accountant
Salary range: £26,302 – £48,034 p.a.
A Cost Accountand reports to the Head of Costing. The post generally has a wide remit, supporting the production of annual integrated reference costs and education costing returns, cluster based tariff reports for CCGs, and the implementation of PLICS (Patient Level Information Costing). The post generally requires individuals that are capable of managing complex data sets and to be a least part-qualified to CCAB level or equivalent.
C. Assistant Financial Accountant
Salary range: £21,909 – £35,225 p.a.
This role assists in the completion of the Trust’s monthly, quarterly and annual NHSiMonitor returns and the control of the Trust’s Balance Sheet ensuring control accounts are reconciled. The Assistant Financial Accountant will also plan, organise and supervise the Capital, Charitable Accounting and System Support section.
D. Fnancial Systems Manager
Salary range: £31,383 – £48,034 p.a.
The Finance Systems Manager provides application support for the Finance Department and ensures the integrity of finance systems coding structure. In addition, the post holder's duties will include:
E. Finance Manager
Salary range: £26,302 - £57,640 p.a.
A Finance Manager's responsibilities will often entail:
Required Qualifications & Experience:
F. Contracts Analyst
Salary range: £26,302 - £41,373 p.a.
The Contracts Analyst provides contract monitoring reports, assists in the monitoring of PbR and non PbR contract activity, and supports the negotiation and monitoring of contracts to secure maximum income for the Trust. The post holder works closely with other members of the team to ensure that all Income reconciles correctly and lead on the challenge process ensuring any are responded to within agreed timescales.
G. Costing Manager
Salary range: £31,383 – 48,034 p.a.
The post of Costing Manager covers a wide remit.
The duties of Costing Manager includes managing highly complex and sensitive aspects of financial work within the organisation and working with other professionals at a senior level both within the organisation and externally.
The job will also include the need to clearly explain financial concepts to non-financial staff at all levels within the organisation so that services fully understand the information they are given.
H. Senior Financial Accountant
Salary range: £31,383 – £57,640 p.a.
The Senior Financial Accountant supports the Head of Financial Control throughout the year-end process. The role includes:
2. Senior Management Positions
Many of the proposed changes within the NHS involve Boards overseeing bigger or multiple organisations.
In order to do so effectively, the NHS will need to expand senior management teams, so more opportunities at this level are inevitable.
Typical vacancies and posts include:
A. Head of Procurement
Salary range: £46,625 - £82,434 p.a.
Head of Procurement supports the Associate Director of Procurement in managing operational work streams, play a key role in the Trust’s Procurement modernisation plans and raising the functional maturity of the Procurement team.
Through optimised category management and well organised business processes, Head of Procurement supports the delivery of cash releasing savings attributed to medical and non-medical spend. Suitable candidates for the role will have expert knowledge and experience in Procurement and management of commercial contract life-cycles.
The post holder will also have demonstrable experience in leading improvement and transformation projects, with a track record of negotiating contracts and managing competitive tender processes with a working knowledge of EU Regulations.
B. Head of Contracts & Income
Salary range: £46,625 - £68,484 p.a.
The key purpose of the role of Head of Contracts & Income is to take the lead in maximising the income of the Trust through supporting contract negotiations with commissioners and ensuring that all potential income is identified and billed.
The post holder will also be responsible for accurate income reporting and forecasting which is crucial to the strategic decision making within a Trust. This role requires strong understanding of income and expenditure.
C. Head of Treasury
Salary range: £40,028 – £57,640 p.a.
The role of Head of Treasury is to provide in depth specialist knowledge of the processes available to an NHS Foundation Trust for investment, including the range of options set out within the Trust, with sufficient understanding to be able to prepare recommendation for the optimum courses of action, spreading risk while maximising returns.
In addition, the post holder will also maintain the banking, maximise the return on Trust temporary cash balances, ensure that all day-today receipts and payments are managed strictly in accordance with the Trust’s financial procedures and follow best practice for managing all bank and cash payments.
D. Head of Financial Control
Salary range: £46,625 – £82,434 p.a.
The Head of Financial Control manages and provides effective leadership to all areas i.e. technical accounting, treasury management (accounts receivable and cash management), accounts payable, capital and payroll. The post holder's role often includes:
E. Divisional Finance Manager
Salary range: £40,028 – 68,484 p.a.
The Divisional Finance Manager works alongside the Divisional Director and Director of Operations in providing overall leadership and direction to the Division, comprising a range of Clinical Specialties.
The post-holder will have influence on strategic decision making within the Trust through the provision of business and financial advice. He/She will also be responsible for the management of the Divisional Finance Team, including staff development and all performance and disciplinary issues; support the development of the Trust’s Local Delivery Plans (LDPs) with commissioners, and identify and report on efficiency savings and the development of business cases.
F. Assistant Director of Finance - Financial Management
Salary range: £56,104 - £99,437 p.a.
The Assistant Director of Finance-Financial Management is responsible for the provision of timely and reliable financial management information and advice to the organisation.
The post holder is also responsible for the management and development of the Financial Management team, including Finance Managers and Assistant Finance Managers, which support the Trust’s individual Business Units.
This role requires strong financial management and reporting skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with senior managers and clinicians both within the Trust and externally.
G. Assistant Director of Finance for Reporting & Pricing
Salary range: £56,104 – 82,434 p.a.
This role will require the following fundamental tasks:
H. Financial Controller
Salary range: £40,028 – £82,434 p.a.
The Financial Controller's key responsibilities include:
I. Associate Director of Finance
Salary range: £56,104 – £99,437 p.a.
The post holder will be primarily responsible for Financial Services, Financial Management, Planning and Reporting with a particular responsibility for Statutory Accounts, Charitable Funds, Annual Planning, Long Term Financial Modelling, Capital Planning and Financial Management.
The Associate Director of Finance will effectively manage and lead multiple teams. As an experienced and inspirational leader, the post holder will set and manage priorities, ensuring staff meet deadlines, as well as ensuring staff continuing professional development.
J. Regional Head of Finance
Salary range: £46,625 – 82,434 p.a.
With the ability to think strategically, the Regional Head of Finance influences the national agenda and provides national project support, understanding, formulating and implementing policy.
The post holder will be fully involved in consultations, working and policy development groups, acting as a conduit for the Secretary of State in disseminating policy and enabling its effective application.
Initiatives include developing structures, processes and communications, moving value to the centre of the agenda and improving decision making, for example, around the allocation of flexible funding.
K. Deputy Director of Finance
Salary range: £68,582 - £100,000 p.a.
In assisting the Operational Finance Director, the Deputy Director of Finance will include:
L. Operational Finance Director
Salary range: £98,000 - £115,000 p.a.
The Director of Operational Finance supports the Trust in delivering a world class finance function and is a key member of the Trusts leadership team. The role includes:
This role is ideal for experienced or aspiring Directors/Deputies who are looking to further their careers at a large Acute Trust.
M. Chief Finance Officer
Salary range: £100,000 - £120,000 p.a.
The role of Chief Finance Officer focuses on the commissioning of health services with core duties that include:
N. Finance Director
Salary range: £100,000 - £140,000 p.a.
A Finance Director's duties will typically include:
O. Accountable Officer
Salary range: £120,000 - £130,000 p.a.
Leading a commissioning organisation that decides on the health services for local populations, the key focus areas for this role often include:
As with all careers in the health sector there is enormous reward and satisfaction in work that helps people and communities. The work is also incredibly varied, with continual technical and medical advances in treatments and approaches.
Health services really matter to the population and continue to account for a large proportion of public spending, so it is a sector that will continue to receive substantial investment.