Abstracts: December 14th, 2004

A survey by Hays Accountancy and Finance of senior managers found that NHS finance departments are feeling the strain as they try to cope with a succession of Department of Health initiatives. It found that 50-60 hour working weeks becoming the norm. More than half of the finance managers surveyed thought that they should have more help to implement initiatives such as shared services and payment by results and a similar number referred to a lack of support for Agenda for Change and Foundation Trust developments.Finance skills were found to be lacking within organisations, with a majority identifying investment and benchmarking, with a significant proportion pointing to commissioning and procurement. Business case development was lower in the list. Fewer than half said that their organisations had recently undertaken any form of analysis of the financial management skills required to deliver new initiatives. Only a handful mentioned any kind of external audit or consultancy.

The survey is available at: www.hays.com/surveys/hfma