Our twin triumph at the HFMA KSS Awards
18 October 2019

Our twin triumph at the HFMA KSS Awards

We are extremely proud to announce that Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust picked up two awards at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Kent, Surrey and Sussex Annual Conference on 11 October. Beth Hale was awarded Student of the Year, and our Finance team received the Training Award, recognising their commitment to Trust-wide staff development.

The Student of the Year Award was won by SCFT Finance Trainee Alex Dimond last year, so Beth’s success demonstrates our ongoing dedication to education and training.

Jamie Bewick, Head of Financial Accounts, kept Beth’s nomination a secret, and invited her to the HFMA KSS Conference with no idea that she had been shortlisted for Student of the Year.

“When my name was read out, all I could think was – please don’t fall over in these heels!” Beth laughed. “I was filled with a sense of achievement when I got back to the table though, and also huge appreciation. I’ve had a lot of jobs in the past, outside of the NHS, where my hard work wasn’t acknowledged, so this recognition is a really lovely feeling.”

Beth joined SCFT in 2013 after working in nightclub management for over a decade, and is now undertaking a Level 3 AAT Assistant Accountant apprenticeship. Jamie’s nomination praised how quickly she settled into her new and technically challenging role, establishing herself as an integral member of the Finance team. He highlighted her “excellent exam marks and feedback from her tutors”, concluding that she was “a shining example of the benefits and possibilities that apprenticeships can bring”.

Our Finance team are proven leaders in the development of financial apprenticeships, proactively and creatively making use of the apprenticeship levy to train new staff, and upskill their existing team. They are currently supporting five apprentices, all studying towards professional qualifications funded by the new levy.

The team also offer training across the Trust; they have developed a bespoke training package for budget holders and senior staff. Over the past year they have delivered 20 training sessions across Sussex, educating over 250 colleagues around budget management, contracting and procurement. The feedback from these sessions has been universally positive, and the training package has helped to raise awareness of finance issues at all levels.

We are delighted that our Finance team’s achievements have received such prominent recognition, adding to SCFT’s impressive list of awards and accolades for 2018/19.