NHSCFA Board meeting 23rd February 2022

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 23.02.22

Version: 1.0


Meeting time 14:30 – 17:00

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)


  • (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 papers 5 & 6
  • (GC) George Cooke (Performance, Analytics & Improvement PMO Manager, NHSCFA) for papers 3 & 4
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA) note taker


  • (PW) Peter Watson (PEG Observer)


  • (PG) Paul Golightly (Head of DHSC AFU)


TT opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.


Apologies were received from Paul Golightly.

Declarations of interest

No new declarations of interest were made.

Minutes of Board Meetings 15.12.21 & 20.01.22

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

Action log

The Board reviewed the action log. The majority of the actions were completed. It was agreed the Board Workshop on Enforcement will be a physical meeting if possible, at the Coventry office, on the 20th April (action 146). JS gave her apologies as she will be on holiday on that date.

General update from the Chair

TT congratulated Tim Barlow and the Clue project team for their nominations to the Public Sector Counter Fraud Awards.

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

  • Discussion about return on investment
  • Financial position and possible (financial) support with the office move, etc
  • Update on CFA business plan and performance
  • Annual Report and Accounts
  • Preparation for the Covid Inquiry
  • Workforce reviews

General update from NEDs

GH highlighted the discussions in progress regarding a Data Governance Act which will change the way data is managed and also informed conversations are being had at government level regarding the use of facial recognition in relation to Intel and analysis.

AC informed the meeting she has now completed Caldicott training.

AF and MS commented on the varying approaches being taken towards reopening offices following the lifting of Covid restrictions. MS highlighted difficulties being faced by organisations regarding recruitment, and noted the focus on staff well-being and flexible working as an incentive, which includes the hybrid work options to support recruitment campaigns. TT supported the comments and advised CFA should proceed with caution whilst people settle into new working patterns. MJB confirmed CFA people have been offered a range of options including home based and flexible office based working.

ARAC update/ Annual ARAC report to the Board (Paper 1)

The Board noted the ARAC annual report to the Board which had previously been circulated and approved outside the meeting cycle due to the time frame of the 2020-21 audit.

Finance update (Paper 2)

MJB informed the meeting a verbal agreement has been given by DHSC with regards to funding any surplus derived from the London office move. He also informed that the refurbishment of the Newcastle office might not be completed this year as initially expected which will cause the Capital Programme to show an underspend. The report was noted.

MJB gave a brief (verbal) update regarding the budget which he hopes to present at the next Board meeting at the end of March. TT referred that, if necessary, the Board is willing to approve an interim budget until the final allocation has been confirmed by the Department.

Q3 Performance Report (Paper 3)

TM presented the report starting by a comparison between objectives and KPI performance for the last 3 quarters. She went on to mention key highlights noting the final the financial impact of these is in progress. The Paper was noted.

Results of the Spotlight survey were discussed, specifically the job satisfaction which had a decrease of 13.9% compared to last year’s. AR and TM assured the Board an action plan has been put in place and AR confirmed this will have direct input from himself. The full details will be presented to the REMCO on 2.3.22.

Following a question from JS, GC gave some detailed insight on the Procurement National Proactive Exercise (PO v non-PO).

Action point 148 TM/ GC to produce a brief document describing the difference between fraud vulnerability and preventive fraud, breaking down the various financial elements which contribute to the financial targets.

A brief discussion regarding return on investment ensued, it was noted the Chair and the CEO are currently having ongoing talks about this subject.

2022-23 Business Plan (Paper 4)

AR made an introduction to the 2022-23 Business Plan (BP) and handed over to TM who started by explaining the plan had been developed using the integrated planning approach introduced last year. She also confirmed increased engagement with key stakeholders had taken place at the early development stages.

JA made some observations and it was agreed the BP should be published end of February or early March. The document was approved by the Board subject to minor amendments discussed.

TM finished by thanking the collaborative work across the organisation and with the Anti-Fraud Unit. This was endorsed by the Board.

Evolution Project/ Stakeholder Engagement update (Paper 5)

RR gave a brief introduction to the paper which was prepared for the last ARAC. The Paper was taken as read and RR asked if there any questions.

TT asked if it was possible to have more objective/ measurable outcomes as it will make easier to know if we are making progress or not. RR agreed.

JS asked for clarification on what the outcome of the External Communications workstream will be. RR reflected on the link to the current ‘Evolution Project’. He confirmed recommendations will be made at the end of April regarding options for managing our stakeholder relationships and the outcomes the differing options will present. The Board noted the support required from the corporate communications team to facilitate this workstream. AR added examples of engagements he has completed since joining.

Comments were made by all Board members, these included but were not limited to:

  • Different groups of stakeholders which require different approaches
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities as the organisation moves towards a new operating model in respect of stakeholder relationship management
  • Budget and resourcing

Operations (investigations) report (Paper 6)

Paper was taken as read. RR gave an update on Operation Buxted and a brief discussion ensued.

RR also highlighted Operation Athermancy et al which is being conducted jointly, on a national scale, by a number of organisations including CFA and relates to fictitious vaccination records at vaccination centres.

Risk & Issues report (verbal update)

Following the recent Risk Workshop and also the Risk Register Review Group meeting, a number of meetings have been scheduled to discuss the feedback and results. A new paper will then be produced and circulated for comments prior to it being presented in the next ARAC.

Agency & Optical Fraud briefing note (verbal update)

TM informed the meeting that Agency Fraud has been removed from the 2021-22 Business Plan due to the impact of Covid on our key stakeholders. The position is being tracked.

Optical loss analysis was not pursued this financial year (at the request of our stakeholders) and has not be scheduled for 2022-23. The Board noted as there was not a financial value attached it has not impacted financial targets

Board effectiveness questionnaires/ AOB

AS informed the meeting the annual Board effectiveness questionnaires will be sent out soon.

AS confirmed Cyber security training specifically for Board members will be available shortly and it would be helpful if all could attend together.

AF volunteered to do the next Board blog.

AS informed the Board members about the new expenses claiming system (Easy Expenses) and also travel arrangements procedure.

Forward Planner (Paper 7)

The forward planner will be updated once definitive dates for Board meetings in 2022 are agreed. Action point 149 AS/ AR and TT to discuss definitive dates for Board meetings and then create a forward planner into next financial year.

Review of the effectiveness of the meeting

It was agreed that the meeting had been conducted effectively.

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