NHSCFA Board meeting 25th May 2023

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 25.05.23

Date: 25/05/23

Meeting time: 11:00-13:30

Meeting title: NHSCFA Board Meeting - 10 South Colonnade


  • (TT) Tom Taylor (Non-Executive Director – Chair, NHSCFA)
  • (AF) Andrew Flanagan (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AC) Alyson Coates (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)
  • (RR) Richard Rippin (Head of Operations, NHSCFA) for paper 5
  • (GC) George Cooke (Performance, Analytics & Improvement PMO Manager, NHSCFA)
  • (KS) Kathryn Strachan (Board Apprentice, NHSCFA)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (PW) Peter Watson (Administrative Officer and People Engagement Representative, NHSCFA)
  • (JG) Joe Gregory (Senior Corporate Communications Officer, NHSCFA)


  • (MS) Martin Spencer (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)


TT welcomed all to the meeting.


Apologies were received from Martin Spencer.

Declarations of interest

JS confirmed she had previously updated the ARAC with her new position on the Audit and planning committee with the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime.

Minutes and action log

Minutes of Board 14 & 27.03.23 were approved.

The two outstanding actions below were reviewed.

Action 165 regarding the dissemination of a report regarding fraud referrals has been circulated and was therefore closed. RH confirmed he intends to bring a further updated report to board to update the position regarding the audit recommendations linked to this action. The Board noted the implementation of these will also be monitored via the ARAC.

Action 176 regarding amendments to SFOs and SFIs was closed as the amended papers were tabled as an agenda item.

General updates from Chair, CEO and NEDS

TT highlighted recent key events including the high profile of NHSCFA at the GovNet Counter Fraud conference with specific reference to the professionalism of the speakers and supporting materials. TT noted the ongoing issues in relation to being able to move to advertisement of the 3 NED roles and reappointment of 3 NED roles. SB confirmed all the planning is complete, ready for approval. The next meeting with relevant stakeholders is scheduled for 05.06.23. He also confirmed options to extend the existing contracts are being explored. TT noted planning is in progress for the data analytics project which is being discussed in more detail at the Board workshop being held on 26.05.23. SB thanked AR & MJB for their support in preparing the ministerial submissions in respect of this project. TT confirmed receipt of a letter from Alex Chisholm, Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, which sets out expectations for setting counter fraud targets in the public sector.

Action 177: TT to forward the letter from Alex Chisholm, Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office re setting counter fraud targets to AS for circulation.

AR reflected on the previous year and the key achievements of NHSCFA against the backdrop of the GovNet conference, and the key message from this event of ‘fight fraud save money’. He confirmed NHSCFA enters into the new three-year period in a positive financial position with a renewed emphasis on productivity and efficiency. AR confirmed the forward movement in investigative outcomes and recoveries, covered in the investigation report, and the need to improve performance of Local Counter Fraud Specialists. All agreed the Data Analytics project is a constructive opportunity and noted this will also bring a range of risks. GH and KS requested an opportunity to explore this project in further detail.

Action 178: TM & GC to arrange a meeting with GH and KS to review the data analytics project in further detail.

GH emphasised the potential impact on organisations of the potential new offence of ‘failure to prevent fraud’ set out in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. Highlighting the need to have clear policies and procedures in place ensuring mitigations against fraud. GH confirmed the events he will be attending over the next few months providing an opportunity to further raise the profile of NHSCFA.

JS noted to the Board the ongoing changes and challenges in relation to managing the productivity linked to hybrid working and working from home.

Committee updates

The Board noted the ARAC minutes from 9.2.23 and 5.4.23 and REMCO minutes form 9.2.23.

JS confirmed the ARAC had focused on timely completion of the GIAA audit recommendations and the review of the audit plan for 2023-24. Q1 audits have been approved with an updated version of the audit plan due to be tabled at ARAC on 8.6.23

The Board formally noted the move of AF from a member of the REMCO to ARAC and of AC from the ARAC to REMCO.

Finance update

The Board noted the finance paper and thanked MJB and the Finance Team for their work to conclude the year at a break-even position. MJB confirmed the movement at the end of the year due to the backdated pay award.

MJB confirmed KPMG are progressing the financial audit with no issues of note to report at this stage.

Investigations Operational Report

The Board noted the paper and the recent sentencing outcomes, praising the work undertaken by the National Investigation Team. The Board also noted the commendation by the Chief Constable of Cumbria Police to two CFA investigators and second commendation by the judge on a recent trial for the work completed by a further two investigators and Financial Investigator.

The Board confirmed the inclusion of the caseload information was beneficial and further requested this is included biannually.

Action Point 179: RR to include investigation caseload information biannually in the investigation operational reports.

2022-23 Q4 Performance Position

TM presented the report which was noted. Highlights over the 2022-23 year were identified across both Business as usual and project work. The Board agreed it was a fair appraisal of the targets achieved.

The Board reflected on the importance of understanding movement at the year-end position, and the need to keep them alerted to changes. TM confirmed the implementation of the Performance and Finance Committee will assist with this.

TM confirmed discussions had taken place with the BSA regarding the calculation of savings from the PECS and DECS reporting to clarify the position between cumulative and actual figures at the end of each quarter. Increased discussions with NHS Resolutions are also planned for 2023-24 to monitor achievements.

TM highlighted the pipeline approach had ensured where some areas had not been progressed, or achieved returns as expected, there were additional areas already identified which were bought online.

AS noted the full results from the Spotlight survey are being shared with the Senior Management and Leadership Team on 31.5.23

JS stated, and the Board supported, it was an overall highly positive result. JS reinforced the importance of clarity on where the planned savings are identified (linked to paragraph 9.2) and the importance of stakeholder engagement with the 3rd parties who contribute to these. The Board agreed this will be key for the proposed data analytics project.

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.

Papers approved / noted

TM presented the report outlining 2023-24 Performance Measures and Key Performance Indicators and describing where financial returns have already been identified.

The Board reviewed the report and noted the agile approach to allow flexibility and the assurance elements for each area.

The ARAC Terms of Reference were approved.

The Standing Financial Orders and Standing Financial Instructions were approved subject to a further review of the wording concerning co dependant purchases and the requirements to disaggregate these.

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.

The 2023-36 Strategy Launch Communications plan was noted.

Review of forward planner and effectiveness

The planned meeting on 06.09.23 to be rescheduled to the following week due to diary commitments and to facilitate in person attendance where possible.

Action point 182: AS to identify an alternative date to reschedule the Board meeting currently planned for 06.09.23.

The Board noted the July meeting will be held via TEAMs

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