NHSCFA Board meeting 7th September 2022

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 07.09.22

Version: 1.0

Date: 7/09/22

Meeting time: 09:30 – 11:45

Meeting title: NHSCFA Board Meeting


  • (TT) Tom Taylor (Non-Executive Director – Chair, NHSCFA)
  • (JS) Jayne Scott (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AC) Alyson Coates (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AF) Andrew Flanagan (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AR) Alex Rothwell (Chief Executive Officer, NHSCFA)
  • (MJB) Matthew Jordan-Boyd (Director of Finance & Corporate Governance, NHSCFA)
  • (TM) Tricia Morrison (Director of Performance & Improvement, NHSCFA)


  • (PG) Paul Golightly (Head of DHSC AFU)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA) left at 11am
  • (RR) Richard Rippin (Head of Operations, NHSCFA) for paper 4
  • (RH) Richard Hampton (Head of Intelligence & Fraud Prevention, NHSCFA)
  • (GC) George Cooke (Performance, Analytics & Improvement PMO Manager, NHSCFA)
  • (KB) Karen Bonham (Finance & Governance Support Lead, NHSCFA)
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA) note taker


  • (SB) Sean Byrne (future Head of DHSC AFU)


TT welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced SB who will soon be taking over the role of Head of AFU following PG’s imminent retirement.


Apologies were received from Martin Spencer and Gaon Hart.

Declarations of interest

No new declarations of interest were made.

Minutes of Board Meeting 13.07.22 and Public Meeting 08.08.22

The Board agreed both sets of minutes as a true and accurate record.

Action log

The Board reviewed the action log. Action Point 147 to be carried forward to the next Board meeting in November. It was agreed to close Action Point 152. All others were either agenda items or already completed.

General update from the Chair

TT informed the meeting AR and himself had joined the Chief Executives Forum and the Public Chairs Forum respectively. The latter’s first event of interest will be on the 14th September entitled Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs) role in policy making which TT will attend.

AR and TT will also be attending a private seminar with Jacob Rees-Mogg SoS Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, on the 21st September and a Cyber Resilience training session by the City of London police on the 13th October. All these events will contribute to enforce Stakeholder Engagement.

TT also confirmed he would share the letter from Matt Warman MP to Boris Johnson regarding his review of work and the challenges our labour marker will face in the coming years for information.

Linked to this, AS informed the meeting we are now required to make a quarterly return on our workforce data regarding home working and hybrid working.

General update from the CEO

AR briefed the Board on discussions had with Lord Agnew and the content of the letters sent by Steve Barclay (SoS Dept Health & Social Care) to the CEO’s of NHSE and NHSD. AR highlighted the opportunities that might result for CFA.

TT stressed the importance of following the above through given the subsequent changes in SoS appointments and requested PG uses his influence to make visible CFA’s name in DHSC ministers’ portfolio. PG gave assurances that DHSC is doing all they can to make that happen.

General update from NEDs

JS noted the current unprecedented level of uncertainty currently felt by the public and workforce and mentioned other organisations are having discussions regarding impact on staff’s cost of living, pay rises, etc. She stressed the importance of those discussions happening at CFA as well.

Committee Updates

The committees had nothing to report. Next ARAC meeting is on the 26.09.22 and next REMCO meeting is on the 10.10.22.

Finance update (Paper 1)

Paper taken as read. MJB highlighted the allocation adjustment due to the implementation of the IFRS16. The impact of this adjustment is currently being reviewed.

A (previously reported) year-to-date underspend against the budget is still in place, predominantly due to vacancies, travel and training costs. At this stage, there is a break even position regarding the forecast outturn.

In terms of the delivery of the capital programme, MJB reassured the Board. Although there hasn’t been significant movement year-to-date, a decision has now been made not to move our FCU servers to the cloud, replacing the existing ones instead. Procurement work is in progress.

The Board supported purchase of equipment in order to maximise the use of the capital available.

Estates update: action point 158 (Paper 2)

Paper was taken as read. MJB started by highlighting some of the results of the workforce review: post pandemic only 8% of the workforce is office based and the 35% flexi office based are mainly based in London. An analysis of the estate profile revealed that the Coventry office is the most expensive per square meter and the least utilised by staff. It is also the office with the poorest standard of tenant services (e.g., there is currently no catering services as these were removed during the pandemic and not reinstated)

The Board noted the key findings and requested to be kept informed of progress as discussions regarding future options are explored. TT offered to start conversations with other organisations in the Midlands area to explore any opportunity to rent desk space, meeting rooms and training facilities.

A small discussion ensued with the Board agreeing it is very important to understand the workforce and the impact the current situation is having on them in order not to lose key people from the workforce. PG suggested that looking into pay and T&S impact along with the costs around the estates should be the next step on the strategy.

MJB added that various possibilities are being looked into to find the most appropriate for the business needs.

The Board formally discussed and approved the contents of the report – no decisions have been made at this stage.

Operations (investigations) report (Paper 3)

Paper was taken as read. RR highlighted the recent outcome of the Andrews case which is already being cited as a reference in terms of dealing with employment and CV fraud.

RR mentioned discussions with CPS have taken place regarding how to deal with the case work from the LCFS community – an arrangement has been agreed and this case work will now go to the hub in Cardiff. As they are used to deal with low level offenses the turnaround should be much quicker.

2022-23 Q1 Performance Report (Paper 4)

TM started by thanking GH and MJB for their feedback on the initial draft report. Deriving from that and comments made in the July meeting TM proceeded by highlighting the improvements made in the report. The Board agreed the report has improved and it was very thorough.

Paper was taken as read. TM informed the meeting the £400m fraud prevention target will be comfortably achieved as we are now approaching the end of our 3-year strategy period. TM then went through the strategic performance where the majority of the areas are “green” with a few “amber” ratings.

AF suggested we should focus on the deterrent effect that our work has even though it is something difficult to measure and explore our media communications as much as possible. TT concurred.

Board Effectiveness discussion: action point 155 (Paper 5)

TT started by stating the current CFA Board works well and suggested some 1:1 meetings with the members for informal discussions and talking about the succession plan around the next scheduled Board meeting in November, which will be face to face in the Newcastle office.

AS informed the meeting that two important posts within the Communications Team have now been filled for. Following this, Board blogs will now be replaced by more focused reflections supported by members of the Corporate Communications with effect from the next scheduled meeting in November.

Discussion – impact of wider political changes and economic climate

TT noted that a new government team represents a great opportunity for CFA to step in and try to get an interest in what we do as early as possible. AR agreed but added this is a big challenge.

Members of the Board agreed stakeholder engagement is essential and stated they are happy to front events. AR gave assurances he looks out for networking opportunities whenever possible. TM informed the meeting of some good opportunities coming up in the next 2-3 months which will require the NED’s involvement. TT asked for as much notice as possible in terms of dates.

2021-22 Annual Report & Accounts amendments (Paper 6)

Amendments were noted by the Board.

Forward Planner (Paper 7) & Board blog

It was agreed the next meeting (in November) will be face-to-face in Newcastle.

TM asked for strategy to be added as an agenda item for next meeting.

Action point 164 AS/ SS to allocate some time in the November meeting agenda for a discussion around strategy.

AF volunteered to write this meeting’s blog which will be the last as discussed earlier.

Review of the effectiveness of the meeting

It was agreed by all that the meeting had been conducted effectively, there were some good discussions and all the items on the agenda were covered.

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