How we manage and use our resource collectively as an Integrated Care System is key to the achievement of our aims and ambitions. If we are to progress our priorities around prioritising prevention, improving access and tackling immediate system pressures, we will need to make difficult decisions about shifting resource. If we are serious about tackling health inequalities, where and how we spend resource will need to change.
We will be working with system partners to develop an integrated finance strategy which will provide the outline framework for more detailed policies and processes to deliver and embed:
- a culture of financial stewardship, including our approach to investment and disinvestment decisions
- a continuous improvement approach to financial sustainability, incorporating the Healthcare Financial Management Association sustainability checklist and framework, core financial controls and a programme of value-based reviews
- a robust approach to integrated financial planning and reporting, linked to workforce, demand and capacity, and quality
- an innovative approach to financial transformation: supporting productivity maximisation, providing professional advice services for business case appraisal and benefits realisation, developing forecasting and modelling capacity and streamlining back-office processes
- system financial expertise: developing the system finance workforce through education and training, peer to peer reviews and cross system finance staff development supported by participation with Future Focused Finance and One NHS Finance programmes.
Where appropriate and following suitable due diligence, decision-making responsibility may be delegated to a more local level, but with the same approach to delivering and demonstrating sustainability and value.
We will continue to develop integrated working arrangements with system partners, where this allows better cross boundary working such as integrated budgets – and the delegation of functions into places, supporting the principle of subsidiarity and facilitating integration. For example, using Section 75 arrangements to manage or support pooled budgets across the NHS and local authorities.
Our finance strategy will have good regard to the four core aims of the ICS:
- improving outcomes in population health and health care; our value approach to investment and disinvestment will explicitly link resources to expected outcomes.
- tackling inequalities in outcomes, experience and access; we will work to develop a place-based allocation methodology which reflects the needs of the populations served.
- enhancing productivity and value for money; our approach to sustainability and efficiency will seek to ensure our limited resources are consumed to best effect.
- helping the NHS to support broader social and economic development; we will look to work across traditional health boundaries, developing joint working arrangements with local authority partners and VSCE organisations to support our communities leading health lives.