The road to recovery: Delivering financial sustainability in the NHS

Financial control is the vital first step to making the NHS sustainable. It’s the platform upon which long-term transformative change can be built.

While individual trusts aren’t always fully in control of their own destiny, and strong leadership is needed at the national level to address the funding gap, there is more that can be done to ensure the processes and systems are in place to avoid financial trouble.

The lessons shared in this document are important for a successful financial recovery. The efforts to improve the financial performance of organisations are often hindered by over complicating and failing to grasp the basic pillars of change. Improvements in areas such as communication within the NHS and with its stakeholders are a big step in the right direction but more can be done with strong financial control being that vital first step and platform upon which long-term transformational change can be built.

Solid financial sustainability is a tricky long-term goal in the current economic climate. However, a period of intense work with senior clinicians and managers kick-starts a sustainable recovery and ensures everyone is focused on the key things that need to happen. This recovery period is also critical to setting the right rhythm and approach for future long term financial management. For us this has been about complete transparency, accountability, excellent systems and processes and obsessional attention to detail.

Mark Davies Chief Executive Officer, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS FT

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