NHSCFA Board meeting 10th July 2023

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 10.07.23.

Date: 10/07/23

Meeting time: 09:30-11:45

Meeting title: NHSCFA Board Meeting via Teams


  • (TT) Tom Taylor (Non-Executive Director – Chair, NHSCFA)
  • (AF) Andrew Flanagan (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AC) Alyson Coates (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (MS) Martin Spencer (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (JS) Jayne Scott (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (GH) Gaon Hart (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)


  • (SB) Sean Byrne (Head of DHSC AFU)
  • (RH) Richard Hampton (Head of Intelligence & Fraud Prevention, NHSCFA) for paper 4
  • (KS) Kathryn Strachan (Board Apprentice, NHSCFA)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA) note taker


  • (SL) Stephen Lough (Finance Business Partner & PEG Representative, NHSCFA)
  • (MSmith) Michele Smith (Senior Corporate Communications Officer, NHSCFA)
  • (AH) Amy Hind (Business Support Manager, NHSCFA)
  • (AHarper) Andrea Harper (Corporate Communications Manager, NHSCFA)


1.1 TT welcomed all to the meeting and handed over to AS who briefly introduced the observers.


2.1 No apologies were received for this meeting.

Declarations of interest

3.1 There were no new declarations of interest.

Minutes and action log

4.1 Minutes of Board 25.05.23 were approved.

4.2 The Board reviewed the action log:

Action Point 178, TM & GC to arrange a meeting with GH and KS to review the data analytics project in further detail – In progress, date TBC before the next Board meeting

Action Point 180, A briefing document to be submitted to the next Board meeting outlining the Key 3rd party stakeholders who contribute to financial targets – Q1 has yet to close, this will be presented with the Q1 performance report at the next Board meeting

Action Point 181, MJB to review the wording in Standing Financial Orders and Standing Financial Instructions regarding co dependant purchases and the requirements to disaggregate these and bring back to the next Board meeting – Pending clearance (MJB has been unavailable)

Action Points 177, 179 & 182 have been completed and considered closed.

General updates from Chair and CEO (Paper 1)

5.1 TT informed the recruitment applications in respect of the Chair’s role have now closed. The interviews will take place on the 28th September with a view to have a new chair in place by the end of October. TT asked SB to follow up the advertisement of the remaining NEDs positions in order to avoid delays.

Action 183: SB to follow up the advertisement of the NEDs’ roles on the Public Appointment Website.

TT also highlighted a positive DHSC accountability meeting had been held and confirmed the events himself, AR or both will be attending over the next few months providing an opportunity to further raise the profile of NHSCFA.

5.2 TT welcomed the inclusion of a paper briefing from the CEO. AR requested the members consider any specific requests in respect of the content going forward.

The highlights of the CEO update included the following:

  • NHS England Mandate 2023-24
  • Ministerial ALB review
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Investigation - Welsh CFA
  • Disclosure in fraud prosecutions
  • Communications and Engagement

GH asked for clarification regarding ministerial approval of the Data Analytics Project. MJB confirmed that official written approval is expected imminently. GH also asked for further details regarding the disclosure letter referenced in the CEO update paper. AR clarified the background and TT requested the letter to be circulated to the Board for consideration, with any comments to be sent directly to AR (offline) rather than waiting for the next Board meeting.

Action 184: AR / SS to circulate the disclosure letter to the Board.

5.3 TM and MJB gave assurances confirming the high-level approach to the Data Analytics Project, noting the meeting to brief KS and GH was still to be confirmed. The Board noted the need to procure additional support to manage the project and the requirement to recruit in new skills. TM offered to share the detailed Business Case and the high-level briefing document previously shared with GH prior to his attendance of the West Midlands Fraud Forum.

Action 185: Summary document and Business Case in respect of the data analytics project to be circulated.

General update from NEDS

6.1 MS informed the meeting that the Companies House is currently going through a change programme in order to achieve a more active role in combating economic crime, and making available the data they have in their register. Part of those changes include trying to be much more proactive and engaging with other agencies such as CFA. MS suggested we should reach out and offered to facilitate an introductory meeting between AR and Louise Smith, CEO of the Companies House.

6.2 AC mentioned other organisations are re-opening their discussions on hybrid working processes adopted through the pandemic. The Board agreed CFA should also consider the organisational approach to this.

6.3 GH attended the latest West Midlands Forum and highlighted the following:

  • changes in the NCA who are trying to open more data sharing routes
  • an approach from The Insolvency Service in terms of discussing alternative resolutions when criminal prosecutions are not possible but there is still a case to answer.
  • Economic and Transparency bill might bring significant changes relevant to CFA

Committee updates


7.1 MS praised the good work Lee Vincent has been doing in developing CFA’s workforce data and highlighted that a combination of length of service, age profile and technical skills embedded in that group might cause some issues in a few years’ time as people retire,

etc. MJB confirmed a People and workforce Development strategy is being developed. He also confirmed the Associate Director of People and Workforce has been appointed and started on 3rd July.

7.2 MS summarised the key areas discussed at REMCO regarding the results of the Spotlight Survey reflecting on which areas had positive results and drawing attention to the areas that need further work. He informed confirmed activities are in progress and further updates will be provided direct tot the REMCO.

7.3 MS noted hybrid working has also been discussed at REMCO, KS offered her contribution regarding remote working and some of the innovative options her own company has put in place. JS pointed out that efficiency should be taken into consideration and suggested we checked evidence from other organisations.

7.4 MS confirmed the last REMCO meeting was his last one as chair and AC will now assume that role going forward.


7.5 JS confirmed the ARAC had met twice since the last Board meeting with the main focus being the year end processes. The internal audit plan for 23-24 is now in place and fieldwork has already started.

7.6 JS presented the ARAC annual report to the Board (paper 2). TT praised the comprehensive report which was noted by the Board. JS confirmed the ARAC was pleased to recommend the approval of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2022-23 to the Board.

7.7 The Board officially noted their thanks to MS and JS as they hand over the chair role of REMCO and ARAC respectively.

Annual Report & Accounts (Papers 3 & 3a)

8.1 AR thanked all involved in producing the Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) and handed over to AS who confirmed the remaining steps to complete the laying of the accounts. AS also mentioned that this year, as part of our quest for sustainability, people will be encouraged to access the report online rather than printing a hard copy.

8.2 AS confirmed some minor alterations were made after the digital version was shared and approved at the ARAC, following feedback from NAO. AS went through these in detail and requested official Board approval as there were no further comments.

8.3 The Board unanimously approved the ARA for the Accounting Officer to sign. Subject to final certification by NAO it will then be passed for laying before Parliament.

Fraud Processing update (Paper 4)

9.1 The Paper was taken as read and noted. RH summarised the different points mentioned which included:

  • Update on the recommendations made by GIAA following the “Processing Reported Frauds” audit
  • Increased automation in assessing referrals
  • Mapping disseminations to Clue activity
  • Development of the Online Fraud Reporting Tool (OFR)

RH invited questions or comments. A small discussion ensued mainly focussed on actions required by CFA to make the Fraud Referral process more efficient. AR and RH clarified the actions in hand and gave assurances.

9.2 JS highlighted the need to ensure the GIAA recommendations were fully implemented.

Board Effectiveness Report (Paper 5)

10.1 AS presented the Board Effectiveness Report which consists of two parts. In part one, data extracted from the all staff “Spotlight Survey” suggests that some work is needed with regards to promoting the Board visibility and communicating with people taking into consideration the hybrid working model. GH suggested a podcast or video chats as some of the methods that can be used to improve Board visibility.

10.2 Part two of the report shows the responses given by Board members to a Board-only questionnaire. It was agreed a separate discussion regarding actions and how to take things forward should take place, if possible after the next Board meeting on the 15th September.

Action 186 SS/AS to liaise with Board members to identify availability to remain and discuss the Board effectiveness report after the Board meeting on the 15th Sept. 

PWD (HR) Strategy (Paper 6)

11.1 MJB introduced the paper providing context. AS confirmed this was being shared in draft form as previously requested. The Board members agreed the document was comprehensive and well set out but remained quite generic and made some suggestions on how to improve it. Following this feedback, AS proposed to review the document in

collaboration with the newly recruited Associate Director, circulate electronically for further comments and bring a final version to the next Board meeting for approval.

Action 187: PWD (HR) Strategy to be progressed further and circulated to the Board for additional comments.

Action 188: Finalised PWD (HR) Strategy to be presented at the next Board meeting (Sep 23) for approval.

Review of forward planner and meeting effectiveness

12.1 The Board reviewed the forward planner and agreed on the date of 17th August for the Public Board meeting, with the invite to be issued after the confirmed of the accounts being laid is received.

12.2 The Board noted a new Board Secretary will eventually replace AS in this role following AS’s recent appointment to a new position.


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