NHSCFA Board meeting 17th May 2022

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 17.05.22

Version: 1.0

Date: 17/05/22

Meeting time 13:30 – 16:15

Meeting title: NHSCFA Board Meeting


  • (TT) Tom Taylor (Non-Executive Director – Chair, NHSCFA)
  • (JS) Jayne Scott (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (MS) Martin Spencer (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)


  • (PG) Paul Golightly (Head of DHSC AFU)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (NB) Nicola Burton (Head of Transformation & Change, NHSCFA) left at 14:45
  • (RR) Richard Rippin (Head of Operations, NHSCFA) for paper 4
  • (GC) George Cooke (Performance, Analytics & Improvement PMO Manager, NHSCFA) for paper 5
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA) note taker


TT opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.


Apologies were received from Mark Gellard.

Declarations of interest

No new declarations of interest were made.

Minutes of Board Meeting 28.03.22

The Board agreed the minutes as a true and accurate record. A small error at paragraph 5.1 was noted as reading ‘not’ instead of ‘no’. It was also noted the review of Matters reserved to the Board had not been recorded as a formal action although it has been completed and was an agenda item for approval.

Action log

The Board reviewed the action log.

General update from the Chair

TT acknowledged the Health & Social Care Bill has received Royal assent, noting to abolition of the requirements for CFA to formally apply for an extension every three years.

TT then provided a summary of the accountability meeting with DHSC, indicating this was positive and covered the following:

  • Update on financial position
  • Update on performance
  • Discussion on the Strategic Intelligence Assessment
  • Update on the Evolution Programme
  • Our participation in the 3rd series of BBC ‘Fraud Squad’
  • Completion of NED’s & CEO appraisals and objectives settings for next year.

AR spoke briefly about the preparation for the upcoming meeting with the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care outlining the approach being taken. PG provided additional context, confirming whilst a specific agenda has not been issued, preparations have been made to cover a number of areas including opportunities for achievement if there was further investment.

General update from NEDs

Members of the Board raised the question of the CFA’s response to the cost-of-living increases and what it means for the workforce. Members provided their insight of what is happening in other organisations. AR gave assurances the issue is being discussed and stated he is confident the right welfare measures are in place to support CFA people. MJB also reflected on this to confirm there are a range of support options.

Committee Updates

There were no updates from the Committees as neither have met since the last Board meeting.

Finance update (Paper 1)

MJB presented the paper noting previous break-even position has now moved to an underspend being reported at year end. This has resulted in the money requested from DHSC to fund the office relocation was not required. This position was predominantly due to receipt of unexpected credit notes from the Government Property Agency (GPA) in relation to our Newcastle Office at the end of March. PG noted the importance of a conversation with GPA in relation to these credit notes and JS confirmed awareness of other organisations who have experienced a similar issue. MJB confirmed he is in the process of arranging a meeting with the Finance Director of GPA to discuss the matter. Members noted the importance of establishing the reasons for this late notification to support future planning.

In relation to capital, MJB confirmed the position at year end was also an underspend which had been forecasted and previously reported.

MJB informed an additional £522K has been allocated to the budget.

The Board approved the report and requested a final revised budget paper to note the final allocation at the next meeting.

Action point 150 MJB to provide a revised budget paper at the next Board meeting to reflect the additional money obtained.

Evolution Project update (Paper 2)

MJB confirmed the planned 2-day workshop to discuss proposals took place. The information and evidence presented is being collated in order to prepare a delivery model for final presentation to the Sponsor Group to consider. This will include details on how the delivery will be implemented.

The Board challenged the timeline for delivery considering the potential for change and requested additional assurance. MJB confirmed NB, along with the finance team, is meeting with the leads for each proposal to review details, costs and implementation options.

To provide additional assurance and oversight it was agreed to hold a Board workshop to present further details on the end vision and the plan to achieve this. It was agreed to also discuss the proposal for the next 3-year strategy at the same event as the two areas are linked. AR confirmed he would brief TT on further details in advance of the workshop.

Action point 151 AS/SS to arrange a workshop to discuss the Evolution project and next 3-year strategy proposals.

Fraud Vulnerability Definitions (Paper 3 – action point 148)

TM gave a brief introduction to the paper which was taken as read and the Board discussed the definitions provided.

It was noted the document was deliberately drafted to be as brief as possible, however members felt there were opportunities to expand these in some areas and break these down into subsets.

PG and GH offered to support the development of these outside of the Board meetings which was accepted.

Action point 152 GH/TM/ RR and PG to discuss expansion of fraud vulnerability definitions.

Operations (investigations) report (Paper 4)

The Board noted the paper in full. RR gave an update on Operation Athermancy. GH enquired about how the communications strategy in respect of this was being approached. RR explained that it was agreed and decided from the start, by all the organisations involved, to not proactively develop one as it could potentially undermine the Covid vaccination campaign. RR expanded on this to confirm the communications will be issued regarding the overall multi agency work undertaken and NHSCA will also issue communications regarding our involvement once it is appropriate to do so.

The Board discussed and noted this approach requesting future communications issues relating to this operation are shared with the Board.

Action point 153 RR to share future communications regarding operation Athermancy with the Board.

Q4 Performance Report (Paper 5)

TM introduced the paper reporting the end of year results, highlighting positive areas, with good progress been made against all our objectives despite all the challenges, particularly the impact of Covid.

PG suggested that recovery figures were more clearly expressed in future reports which was supported by TT.

GH highlighted it would be helpful for the Board to know further information linked to the referral figures in respect of no further action taken, specifically the high-level reasons behind the decision. This could feed into an action plan to enhance and improve the number of referrals. TM agreed to include additional information in the future reports.

Strategy Development (Paper 6)

TM presented the NHSCFA Strategy Development for 2023-26 to the Board focusing on what our approach will be and its design principles.

MS recommended the inclusion of external stakeholders (LCFS’s, DoF’s, etc) in the planning to gain their perspective.

Action point – see action 151

JS highlighted the need to ensure there are sufficient resources available to deliver the Strategy in conjunction with the Evolution Programme. AF supported this concern and suggested a resource allocation model is included in the information being presented at the workshop.

The Board discussed the need to forward plan workshops for 22-24 to support management of diary commitments.

Action point 154 AS/SS to forward plan 6 monthly workshops for 2022-24

Risk & Issues report (late paper)

The Board noted both the paper and the fact it is to be discussed in detail at the next ARAC meeting on 18.05.22.

Annual Review of Board Effectiveness Report (Paper 7)

AS briefly summarised the paper. TT noted the positive results and suggested some reflection on the questions that scored lower. TT requested he meets with AR & AS to identify action areas to improve Board effectiveness and share at the next Board meeting. TT further requested that the forward planner is updated to include an agenda item to review progress against the action plan in the Autumn.

Action point 155 TT/ AR & AS to identify action areas to improve Board effectiveness to share at the next Board meeting.

Action point 156 AS to update the Board forward planner to include a review of Board effectiveness action plan in the autumn.

Annual Report & Accounts position (verbal update)

MJB & JS assured the meeting that preparations are being progressed to the agreed timeline for a pre recess completion. The members noted this is due for discussion at the ARAC meeting on the 18.05.22.

Action point 157 Forward planner to be updated to confirm ARA sign off meeting planned for 07.07.22

Matters Reserved to the Board (Paper 8)

The Board noted the reduction in the spend requiring Board approval to £500,000 which was approved.

Draft Strategic Intelligence Assessment (Paper 9)

AR introduced this draft report. The Board supported the more compact format of the document compared to previous versions as well as the clarity it contains.

GH suggested greater clarification on the assessment of fraud in some areas including data manipulation on page 6 to expand on reasons for using older data in some areas.

The draft was agreed in principle subject to GH comments being added and a final version produced (including the infographics). TT requested this is circulated to the Board electronically for final approval.

Forward Planner (Paper 10) & Board blog

It was agreed the Board meeting on the 13th July will be face-to-face in the new London office.

TT volunteered to write the next blog.

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.

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