Insights from the NHS for all sectors


Our NHS has changed considerably since 1948. Pressures on governance, risk management and internal controls are immense. Lives depend on it, and yet the sustainability of the NHS in doubt. The numbers do not add up.

Despite increased funding in 2016/17 an NAO report found that the money was spent on ‘coping with current pressures rather than the transformation required to put the health system on a sustainable footing”, they also said “trusts are still a long way from being able to live within their means.’

As a large organisation, the NHS like many others faces challenges with culture, governance and strategy together with managing Brexit uncertainty.

We asked four people with a wealth of internal audit experience for their candid views on the future of this national institution. Their insights are relevant not only for those with an interest in healthcare but also other sectors too.

The four industry professionals are as follows: Nick Atkinson, partner at RSM UK; Carl Best, Director at Audit One; Sarah Blackburn, former Vice Chairman and Audit Committee Chair at NHS Digital and previously non-executive director of the Healthcare Commission and University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust; and Karan Wheatcroft, Operations Director, Mersey Internal Audit Agency.

Their insights are themed into topical headings which resonate across sectors.

Please note: Their opinions are their own and do not represent those of the Chartered Institute or the organisations they work for.

Organisational culture

Raising the profile of auditing culture across all sectors has been a key priority of the Chartered Institute for a number of years. Culture is the heartbeat of an organisation and, unsurprisingly, our panel touched on this topic.

According to Best, other sectors can learn from the “cultural emphasis on being open” as demonstrated through a variety of NHS tools to promote positive…