It is my pleasure to introduce Future-Focused Finance’s first ever annual report. 2018/19 was a year of substantial change for FFF as we lost the services of our two longest serving Finance Leadership Council members, when Bob Alexander and Paul Baumann moved on to new roles.

I’d like to put on record my personal thanks to both Bob & Paul. They each contributed a huge amount to the early development and subsequent roll-out of FFF and we would not have made the inroads that we have been able to make without their leadership and unstinting efforts. The current members of Finance Leadership Council (FLC) have continued to provide us with the strategic guidance that we need to push on with our work and I’d also like to thank each of them for their support during the year.

The coming together of NHS England and NHS Improvement has presented us with a challenge, as colleagues’ attention has, quite correctly, been focused elsewhere over recent months. However, we look forward to working with Julian Kelly and his team to ensure that FFF continues to set an appropriate strategic direction for the development of the NHS finance function.

Along with the changes outlined above, we also revised our strategy during the year and started working in five themes, which replaced our original six action areas. Further details of our work is set out later in this report. Our new focus allows us to build on our previous achievements, while ensuring that we begin working towards the FLC’s new strategic goals. Huge thanks are due to our Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) and Programme Leads, each of whom gives up a great deal of their discretionary time to support our work and to ensure that we deliver what is required of us.

I have been delighted to see the way in which the NHS Finance Foundation has found its feet under the leadership of Andrea McGee during the year. I think that we can now truly say that FFF is working hand-in-hand with our colleagues in both the NHS Skills Development Network (SDN) and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) to ensure that NHS staff at all grades have opportunities to enhance their financial skills.

Looking forward to 2019/20, we will refresh our objectives during the year to ensure that they are still appropriate to deliver FLC’s strategy. We will continue to work on our key projects, including rolling out the work arising from the Future of Finance report that we are producing in conjunction with PwC. We will, of course, continue to look to add value to the finance function, by providing the programmes and support that we are uniquely positioned to provide, working closely with SDN & HFMA to do so. We will also continue to promote our accreditation programme to ensure that finance functions across the NHS can demonstrate that they have the very best finance skills development culture and practices in place.

Finally, I’d like to thank each and every one of you that has contributed to FFF’s success in any way whatsoever. Whether you’re one of our Value Makers with a national profile or someone who has quietly pushed our work within your organisation and encouraged others to get involved: thank you. We couldn’t have achieved what we have achieved to date without your support.