NHSCFA Board meeting 13th July 2022

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 13.07.22

Version: 1.0

Date: 13/07/22

Meeting time 11:00 – 13:30

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)
  • (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)


  • (JA) Jon Arnold (Deputy Policy Manager, DHSC AFU)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (RR) Richard Rippin (Head of Operations, NHSCFA) for paper 4
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA) note taker


TT welcomed everyone noting it was positive a face-to-face meeting for the first time in over 2 years with the majority of people attending in person.


Apologies were received from Martin Spencer, Richard Hampton and George Cooke

Declarations of interest

No new declarations of interest were made.

Minutes of Board Meeting 17.05.22

The Board agreed the minutes as a true and accurate record subject to a couple of minor amendments: on para 6.1 “ALB’s” replaced by “CFA” and one small typo on para 18.1 where it should read ‘£500,000’ instead of ‘£5000,000’.

Action log

The Board reviewed the action log. Action Point 155 to be carried forward to the next Board meeting in September.

General update from the Chair

TT highlighted the importance of the engagement with the ICB’s in order to actively fight fraud and also the slight delay in the establishment of the new Fraud Authority.

General update from NEDs

GH informed the meeting on the following:

  • National Fraud Strategy to possibly be announced and released over the summer
  • Brexit Freedom bill to be renamed (to EU retained laws bill), probably after recess
  • EU retained law dashboard
  • Data reform bill and Financial services bill to be released before recess

Committee Updates (Papers 1 & 2)

ARAC minutes from the meeting on 18.05.22 and REMCO minutes from the meeting on 13.06.22 were noted and accepted by the Board.

Finance update (Paper 3)

MJB gave a brief finance update highlighting the confirmation by DHSC that an additional £0.527m have been allocated to the organisation. This money which will partly offset the Cost Improvement Programme and will also help covering costs incurred with the implementation of the Evolution Programme.

MJB reassured the Board in terms of the delivery of the capital programme. At the moment the only risk is the FCU infrastructure costs which are unknown however, there is a back up list of things that can be pulled forward if necessary.

GH inquired if the rising cost of living had been incorporated into the budget, MBJ said that an analysis is being made but they hadn’t been included in the current position.

A discussion ensued about mileage and WFH allowances and what is happening in other organisations. JS suggested that there should be very clear policies in terms of the WFH allowance.

Action point 158 MJB to prepare a paper to the Board with an analysis in terms of the need for the current 3 offices and potential costs savings.

The new budget was formally approved by the Board.

Operations (investigations) report (Paper 4)

Paper was taken as read. RR highlighted the quick recovery of the pension money on Operation Badon which is normally a lengthy process and how that will be of benefit for future similar situations.

TT stressed the importance of this type of positive outcomes reaching ministerial level. JA and RR confirmed there is a document being prepared to that effect where this example will be included.

Q4 Performance Report (final) (Paper 5)

TM introduced the final Q4 performance report highlighting the substantial change in one of the figures - Impact Assessment of Fraud Prevention Notices (FPN). This was due to an incorrect multiplier, duplication of entries and the inclusion of data from Wales, all of which has now been corrected. TM proceeded by referring lessons learned and how validation processes will be tightened up to avoid this situation occurring again.

The Board expressed concern regarding the high variation of figures in such a short space of time. TM gave assurances and mentioned the Data Strategy Group will be keeping a closer eye on monthly variations. AR mentioned the existence of a secondary checking process with the consolidated data return and signing off providing further assurance.

Action point 159 Going forward, TM to present a verified set of figures to the Board quarterly and/ or six monthly, whichever provides the best balance between timeliness and accuracy

Action point 160 TM to prepare a paper for the next ARAC giving assurance on the figures’ validation process.

Prompted by GH’s observation regarding enforcement figures, a discussion ensued and summarising, TT suggested the focus should be on 2 key elements:

  • Thoroughness in how we challenge the estimates to ensure accuracy
  • Careful consideration in how the results are communicated

Q1 Performance Report (position statement) (Paper 6)

Paper was taken as read. With regards to financial targets, TM informed the meeting there is a projected delivery of just under £350m against the £400m target for the 3 year strategy. A stronger assurance of these figures will be obtained by doing validation work.

TT requested that once this validation work is completed, the information is shared with the Board by email previous to the next Board meeting in September.

Action point 161 TM to share paper with final figures for Q1 with the Board once available and bring to the Sept Board meeting; including an update on what is being done regarding the difference between the projected delivery and the target.

Annual Report & Accounts certification/ laying (verbal update)

MJB informed the meeting that an error in the unadjusted figures on the Audit Completion Report had now been rectified. He also confirmed everything is on target for the laying of the accounts on the 14th July. JA agreed that was the case, despite the political instability.

Once again the Board expressed thanks to the team for all the work delivered to be able to lay pre recess.

Information Governance documents, to note (Papers 7 & 7a)

All documents were noted with the Board recognising there were no significant changes. All Board members agreed it was a robust set of policies, well written in a clear manner and AS confirmed there are a range of mechanisms in place to ensure staff are complying with them.

JS and TT suggested that, due to there being a lot of them, the review of these documents is phased through the year as it makes it easier to go through them in more detail. AS agreed and explained that will be the case going forward.

AC pointed out that on the Confidentiality Audit Procedure, para 4.1 it should read “……a Caldicott Guardian, who must be the CEO……”.

Forward Planner (Paper 10) & Board blog

The Board reviewed the forward planner and an additional item is to be added to the September meeting: Board effectiveness

It was agreed by the Board members that going forward the meetings will go back to being face-to-face where practical but with the flexibility of anybody joining virtually if they wish.

It was suggested the next Board meeting (currently scheduled for the 7th September) could be moved to the following week, face-to-face, in the Newcastle office

Action point 162 AS/ SS to check Board members’ availability w/c 12th September

AC volunteered to write the next blog and JS the one after.

Review of the effectiveness of the meeting

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


The Board agreed to allocate some time in the September meeting to have an informal discussion - political considerations.

Action point 163 AS/ SS to allocate some time in the September meeting agenda for an informal discussion

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