Finance staff

NHS finance staff make sure sure that our budgets are spent wisely and for the benefit of our patients. 

Working life

The NHS has to be sure that its finances are well run and our finance staff are crucial to making sure this happens.

"Being able to relate my work to helping someone in the hospital is the driving force for me, and it’s lovely to know that, every day, I am developing a successful career at the same time as making a positive difference to someone else" - Lydia Wager, income and costing accountancy assistant, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Read Lydia's real-life story

Finance staff could be:

Senior finance managers could be:

The roles

Job roles have different titles. Some titles reflect the type of job and the level, for example

Finance staff may be based in office areas of hospitals and health centres or in headquarters buildings. They work closely with admin staff and others in the wider healthcare team. They may also work with clinical and non-clinical managers. Most finance staff have little or no contact with patients.

Entry requirements 

Finance staff in the NHS will usually work towards a finance-related qualification. You can either

To enter as a finance trainee, you usually need at least 2 GCSEs including English and maths, or equivalent. Employers may also ask for IT skills. They may expect some customer service or office experience.There are apprenticeships in finance departments.

If you join the NHS with a finance qualification this could be one with no set entry requirements such as

Or you can study at a higher level, for an accountancy qualification awarded by one of the member bodies of the CCAB (Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies) for example

It is important to check with your employer regarding the accountancy qualifications that they support.

For an accounting degree, you usually need 

or alternative qualifications, including

However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.

If you have a degree in a non-finance subject, you can apply for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and work towards professional accountancy qalifications.

Personal characteristics and skills 

Finance staff have to be

They also need 

Training and development 

Finance trainees are encouraged to take further qualifications. They can become members of the Association of Accounting Technicians. Once qualified, finance staff can apply to become

Those on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme will study for CIPFA qualifications.

Finance staff can also become members of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). HFMA organises conferences and events where staff can keep up to date and network with others and provides e-learning to update skills.

Other roles that may interest you

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