1 + 1 = 2...fab awards for Finance Team

Associate Director of Finance Stuart Baron, Assistant Director of Finance, Philippa Russell and Systems Accountant, Sarah Laherty all scooped gongs at the Yorkshire and Humber HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association) awards last week.

The trio were nominated by Director of Finance Gary Boothby, and Deputy Director of Finance, Kirsty Archer.

Stuart took the Finance Professional of the Year Award, with Philippa and Sarah picking up the Innovation Award. Read a little more from their nominations.

In Gary’s nomination for Stuart, his skills for developing relationships with stakeholders shone though, as well as his valuable contribution to major projects here at CHFT:

  • Developing and remodelling of our outline business case for reconfiguration. His efforts helped us achieve capital funding of £196.6mto support the implementation of the enhanced proposal;
  • He was the finance lead for the introduction of the largest wholly owned subsidiary in West Yorkshire; Calderdale and Huddersfield Solutions Ltd, last September. He is also their part-time Finance Director, in addition to his main role at CHFT;
  • The finance lead for EPR. He was integral for the contract discussions with Cerner on behalf of both CHFT and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS FT, and his contribution helped minimise the financial impacts on the Trust during its implementation.

Gary wrote in his nomination “I don’t believe there will be another Finance Professional to have progressed as many transformational work streams throughout this period”.


The Innovation Award went to Philippa and Sarah. They were nominated by Kirsty for their “instrumental roles in developing, implementing and embedding a new budgeting and forecasting tool which has been integrated into our financial ledger*”

This new system holds all our data in one place, so we no longer rely on multiple spreadsheets. Not only does it allow us to focus on what has already been spent, it means we have a much improved way of forecasting what might happen in future, so we can react more quickly with any planning adjustments.

Kirsty wrote “Sarah has taken a pro-active role in helping other Trusts by explaining the mechanics of the system and hints and tips to get the best out of it.  And Philippa has presented this innovative solution at the London region HFMA conference and on a national webinar showcasing this product we were instrumental in developing.

But it wasn’t just Kirsty who was impressed. Kim Berry, Head of Applications, NEP Shared System Group, added in his testimonial:

Philippa and Sarah were instrumental in the design process to ensure the system was not only a good fit for their own organisation, but remained flexible enough, so that other NHS Trusts could adopt the template with little or no customisation.

*What is a financial ledger?

The ledger provides a complete record of financial transactions. It holds all the information that is needed to prepare financial budget reports and year-end accounts.