NHSCFA Board meeting 10th November 2022

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 10.11.22

Version: 1.0

Date: 10/11/22

Meeting time 09:30 – 12:30

Meeting title: NHSCFA Board Meeting (Hybrid)


  • (TT) Tom Taylor (Non-Executive Director – Chair, NHSCFA)
  • (GH) Gaon Hart (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (MS) Martin Spencer (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)


  • (SB) Sean Byrne (Head of DHSC AFU)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (RR) Richard Rippin (Head of Operations, NHSCFA) for paper 7
  • (RH) Richard Hampton (Head of Intelligence & Fraud Prevention, NHSCFA)
  • (GC) George Cooke (Performance, Analytics & Improvement PMO Manager, NHSCFA)
  • (NB) Nicola Burton (Head of Transformation & Change, NHSCFA) for paper 8
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA) note taker


  • (MS) Michele Smith (Senior Communications Officer, NHSCFA)


TT opened the meeting by welcoming everyone.


Apologies were received from Alyson Coates and Jayne Scott.

Declarations of interest

TT informed the meeting he is now a Board mentor for Critical Eye.

Minutes of Board Meeting 07.09-22

The Board agreed the minutes as a true and accurate record.

Action log

The Board reviewed the action log which contained two action points, one of them completed. Regarding Action Point 147, RH to provide data on outcome of activities undertaken by local health bodies – RH provided a brief explanation on the content of the report being prepared. The finalisation of the report has been delayed due to sickness but is expected to be completed next week. AR mentioned how, in his view, this report is critical for accountability. As the next Board meeting is only scheduled for February 2023, TT asked for the report to be shared with the Board by email once ready.

Action point 165 RH to circulate paper (by email) to the Board on outcome of activities undertaken by local health bodies before next Board meeting on 20.02-23

General update from the Chair and the CEO (Paper 1)

TT commenced his update by noting the recent re-shuffle of the government. The new ministerial team has been appointed at DHSC with Steve Barclay as the new Secretary of State (SoS) and Lord Markham as the Minister with Responsibility for NHSCFA.

Action point 166 SB to continue to pursue opportunities to meet with Lord Markam.

TT confirmed his attendance at the Healthcare Financial Management Association West Midland AGM on the 17th November 2022 as part of our wider Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. He proceeded to briefly talk about the UK Government ARAC Chair’s Forum he has also attended and referred how interesting it was.

TT informed the meeting that, as mentioned, we have volunteered to join the Cabinet Office Board Apprentice Scheme as a ‘Host Board’ and have now received five applications. A panel composed by TT, GH and AS will shortlist and interview candidates in the coming weeks.

To further develop our Executive Team, AR has become a member of Critical Eye Ltd. This membership also gives other members of the Executive Team opportunities to participate and develop.

AR attended a meeting of ALB Chairs and Chief Executives on the 4th November. This meeting was organised by Shonna Dunn (Second Permanent Secretary at the DHSC) with the objective of sharing current priorities and objectives of both DHSC and the wider Government. AR highlighted the key points of the meeting which included the participation of the SoS for a brief period of time.

General update from NEDs

MS confirmed the general feeling of chaos across sectors due to the ministerial changes, there is a ‘holding’ pattern with no decisions being made or sometimes being reversed.

AF stated that at an operational level, organisations are facing high staff turnover levels as well as a significant difficulty to recruit which has led to a big focus on retention. MJB confirmed NHSCFA is considering a range of options in terms of recruitment.

GH updated the meeting regarding the main topics being discussed in relation to fraud. Risk assessments, the Labour Party conference reports and human rights were some of the topics mentioned.

Committee Updates (Papers 2- 4)

Regarding the REMCO minutes, MS stated that strategic HR support to AR alongside the Evolution Program is a concern to the committee. Lee Vincent will attend the next meeting in Feb 23 to give an update on this as well as providing a background on his experience. MS also noted that really good progress has been made in the development of the workforce dashboard. REMCO will review the next workforce data report which will then be presented to the Board at the next meeting in February 23.

There was no specific issues raised regarding the ARAC meetings. All minutes were noted and approved-1

Finance update (Paper 5)

Paper taken as read. MJB reconfirmed the previously reported underspend against the budget. This significant underspend is predominantly due to the planned management of vacancies as the evolution programme is delivered and recruitment made according to the new operating model.

The Board noted more income than initially planned was received due to an external secondment that was not confirmed at the start of the financial year. At this stage of the year, there is a break-even position regarding the forecast outturn for both revenue and capital.

Q2 Performance Report (Paper 6)

TM presented a positive Performance Report highlighting key areas. A short discussion was held regarding the dental coding issue and the Board advised cautiousness due to all the political considerations.

TM and RH shared their frustration with the Real-Time Exemption Checking (RTEC) exercise as some issues have arisen regarding data access late in the planning stages. Regarding the Covid-19 inquiry, AS informed the subject was reviewed at the last SMT meeting (previous day). Module 3 has now been issued and consideration is being given to the data held which is potential relevant to this.

Action point 167 RH to forward information released on Covid-19 enquiry Module 3 (for information purposes only)

The Board noted the high level of performance by all members despite the challenges and confirmed support for positive recognition of all efforts.

Action point 168 TT requested thoughts on opportunities to recognise CFA people achievements.

Operations (investigations) report (Paper 7)

Paper was taken as read. RR highlighted Operation Sheffield which relates to the dental coding issue discussed earlier in the meeting. Also mentioned was Operation Bukowski which will see an eight-week trial starting on the 5th December noting this is potentially be a high-profile case.

Final Evolution Plan (Paper 8)

MBJ briefly introduced the paper and handed over to NB who highlighted that all individuals have been offered a post according to the new proposed structure. The consultation process is in full flow for the whole organisation, except for colleagues in the Information Technology department. This unit is undergoing a separate review with results only being available in April 2023 when their consultation will start.

NB mentioned the various types of communications that have been made through different platforms including the vacancies available. These have generated a good level of expressions of interest. Simultaneously, an external recruitment process is also in motion.

The Board noted the report, and all agreed it was quite comprehensive. The positive interaction with the Union was also well received. TM suggested a more in-depth discussion at the Board Workshop scheduled for the end of January 2023. That was agreed and TT then requested a detailed paper to be presented at the next Board meeting in February 2023 which should include the issues raised at the workshop.

Action point 169 Detailed paper on Evolution to be presented at the next Board meeting in February 2023 (to include issues raised in the Board Workshop to be held in January 2023)

Data Protection Toolkit mid-year position and Information Governance documents to note (Papers 9-13)

Papers noted. Query on the retention schedule to be picked up outside the meeting. Action point 170 GH and RR to meet in order to discuss/ review specific retention periods.

Forward Planner (Paper 14)

The forward planner was reviewed throughout the meeting with several points added.

It was agreed the next meeting (in February 2023) will be face-to-face in Coventry.

Board blog & Board Q&A – new approach

Following what was agreed during the last meeting, a member of the Corporate Communications Team (M Smith) attended this session and will be responsible for the Board blog.

Review of the effectiveness of the meeting

It was agreed by all that the meeting had been conducted effectively and all the items on the agenda were covered.

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