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Head of SLR and Costing Finance

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
£58,972 to £68,525 a year
Closing date
22 May 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 8B
Contract Type
Full Time
Are you looking for a role that provides you with an opportunity to influence strategic and operational decision making? As the Head of SLR and Costing you will play a pivotal role in developing, implementing and promoting Patient Level Costing (PLICS) and Service Line Reporting across the organisation.

You will have expert knowledge of managing and maintaining costing systems to facilitate effective delivery of the national costing objectives. Whilst expertise of the costing and feeder technical systems is a pre requisite for the role, just as important will be your ability to engage and interact with colleagues at all levels (including clinicians) from corporate, divisional and operational teams.

Main duties of the job

You will be expected to lead the team using a collaborative and inclusive approach to facilitate continuous development of data inputs to improve information outputs to support key decisions. Helping to support the Trust to demonstrate how it is working efficiently, effectively and economically in the provision of patient care and providing value for money to the wider NHS.

You will be responsible for leading the costing team to manage all aspects of the costing agenda ensuring national, regional and local submissions are achieved within pre-defined deadlines.

This role is recognised as vital in supporting the organisation to achieve its strategic objectives.

Improving Diversity and Inclusive Recruitment:

As part of the Trust's aim to improve diversity across the Trust, positive action is being taken and all applications for this post from BAME, Disabled and LGBT+ candidates can request to be considered under an expanded Guaranteed Interview Scheme if they meet the minimum criteria as specified in the person specification for this role.

Applicants will be prompted in the application form to declare if they wish to be considered under this expanded Guaranteed Interview Scheme, and their response would be visible to the Shortlisting Panel.

If you have any queries about expanded Guaranteed Interview Scheme, please contact Rob Saunders (HR Manager - Recruitment) in confidence via email

About us

Our purpose is simple - Putting Patients First. We are looking for exceptional colleagues who can help us achieve this.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute and specialised hospital trust that provides a range of local acute services to the residents of Worcestershire and more specialised services to a larger population in Herefordshire and beyond.

The Trust operates hospital-based services from three sites in Kidderminster, Redditch and Worcester

Our workforce is over 7,000 strong, and our caring staff are recognised as providing good and outstanding patient-centred care. You could be one of them.

We are committed to recruiting the best people to work with us to achieve our Vision - working in partnership to provide the best healthcare for our communities, leading and supporting our teams to move 4ward. Our 4ward behaviours, which we ask all staff to demonstrate, underpin our everyday work and remain firmly at the heart of all we do.

Our objectives are simple:
  • Best services for local people
  • Best experience of care and best outcomes for our patients
  • Best use of resources
  • Best people

Better never stops, and our Clinical Services Strategy provides a clear future vision for our Trust, our hospitals, our services and our role in the wider health and care system.

We are proud to have achieved Timewise accreditation - this means we are committed to embedding flexible working within our organisation as a flex positive employer.

Job description

Job responsibilities

The Head of Service Line Reporting and Costing leads and manages the Service Line Reporting (SLR) and Costing team, interprets complex national guidance and works autonomously to deliver the costing responsibilities of the Trust on behalf of the Chief Finance Officer.

The post holder is responsible for the development and overall strategic management of SLR and Patient Level Information and Costing System (PLICS) leading the SLR & Costing team and using specialist technical costing knowledge to deliver accurate and robust quality costing information.

The post holder will analyse large quantities of highly complex information on costs, income/activity from multiple systems. This must be constantly reviewed to reflect the changes in the organisation, and be used to generate regular, robust Patient Level Costing and SLR information and to successfully submit the nationally mandated National Cost Collection. The post holder must be confident in managing and manipulating vast data files containing patient information, and using SQL skills/costing knowledge to allocate costs to patients whilst maintaining a robust audit trail.

The Head of SLR & Costing works with Finance, Operational Teams and Clinicians to support them to fully understand the financial impact of decision making (clinical/non-clinical) with income/expenditure. The role supports managers and clinicians to use the costing system for improving the quality of information recording. Understanding impact of decisions on the financial position is one of the key tools the Trust uses to deliver its efficiency programme.

The post holder will engage with external organisations to influence the National Cost Guidance and be a key member of the regional network for costing, PLICS and SLR as well as the Software Supplier network by liaising with other Heads of Costing and representatives from NHS England.

Having direct line management responsibly for the PLICS/SLR team members, the post holder will ensure deadlines are set, achieved to high quality / accuracy and monitored as well as ensuring that professional standards are met.

The post holder will take an active role in the management of the wider finance dept, providing advice, guidance, cover and dealing with disciplinary matters as appropriate.

Key Duties:

Overall responsibility for submitting the mandatory National Cost Collections making significant changes to the regular PLICS solutions to adhere to a large amount of complex/changing guidance within tight, rigid national deadlines.

Ensure that the national/local requirements of the National Cost Collection are met adhering to complex and changeable national guidance often requiring a different approach. This encompasses the approved Costing guidance, the Education & Training Cost Collection guidance and local policies.

Represent the Trust in Costing work nationally & regionally. Responsible for Trust involvement in developing/influencing the Approved Costing Guidance through work with NHS England and Improvement, HFMA, Regional and National Costing Forums, and software supplier forums.

Active involvement in representing the Trust at Regional networks for costing, PLICS and SLR, liaising with Heads of Costing from Trusts across the region, and representatives from NHS England and Improvement.

Lead in the planning and execution of the roll out, continuing development and use of highly complex and interrelated SLR and PLICS information across the organisation. Prioritising areas for review and investigation on a Trustwide basis, ensuring delivery of rollout, investigations and reviews to agreed timescales.

Responsibility for the regular reporting of Costing information in line with agreed timescales. Leading the team to drive forward and be responsible for ensuring the tasks related to delivering the reports are prioritised appropriately.

Analyse and process large quantities of highly complex information and data on costs, income and activity from multiple systems, spanning the complete range of all the Trust's activities clinical and corporate. This must be regularly reviewed to reflect the changes in the organisation, and be used to assist in generating regular, robust Patient Level Costing (PLICS) and Service Line Reporting (SLR) information, nationally mandated National Cost Collection and Education & Training costing returns.

Advise other members of the finance team of the implications associated with their proposed income and expenditure movements in the general ledger and explain the impact on costing.

Use technical costing knowledge to deliver regular PLICS and SLR information in accordance with the national Costing Standards and NHSE Approved Costing Guidance. Leading the PLICS/SLR Information Manager and Costing Accountant and colleagues in Information to ensure deadlines are met. To drive forward and be responsible for this process, ensuring the tasks related to delivering outputs are prioritised appropriately.

Maintaining and continuously developing the Patient Level Costing system. This involves awareness of organisational changes, system changes, service developments, and requires effective liaison with colleagues in Finance and Divisional Teams. It often includes analysing complex problems and use of own initiative to make decisions where there is no precedent, little or incomplete evidence and guidance, and conflicting opinions.

Manage and deal with large volumes of data and statistical information with effective use of spreadsheets, databases, specific costing system and front end systems displaying costing, income and patient detail and activity information.

The post holder is responsible for reviewing and improving the costing systems and processes to ensure to improve services provided.

Develop benchmarking on costing data, including liaising with other Trusts and understanding differences in clinical practice which impacts on the costs.

Interpret the Costing outputs to support the development of financial strategy for the Trust. Service Line profitability information can aid the identification of long-term risks/threats to the Trust's,financial viability and opportunities to develop services. Needs to demonstrate a detailed awareness of the political agenda and take account of external events in strategic planning. The post holder must be fully engaged with the Trusts Efficiency agenda, and utilise the SLR and PLICS information to support it whenever possible.

Lead others in commercial awareness and responsiveness to customers. During the Deep Dive processes the role involves close workings with Service Lines, offering guidance in how to use the SLR and PLICS information combined with guidance on income and potential opportunities. The post holder must always consider the patient experience and quality of outcomes as part of the review of Service Line information.

Lead of the procurement and tender process for the costing system and associated reporting tools. Manage contracts will suppliers and ensure correct payment of invoices.

Ensure that the data quality checks are carried out for each reporting period including patient episode checks, variance analysis, matching rates and costing process audits. This includes carrying out the data quality checks within a strict timeframe, making necessary changes to the costing model to improve quality.

Complete and continuously update working papers, the iCAL, the team jobs to-do lists, other checklists associated with regular tasks and the cost centre tracker to provide a robust audit trail around cost allocations and information collection to be used during Deep Dive meetings and annual audits.

Plan and execute regular training sessions on SLR/ PLICS and Costing.

General Duties:

Responsibility for planning, resourcing and managing the Service Line Reporting and Costing team, ensuring that a high quality service is delivered throughout the year.

Compile departmental returns and formulate responses to ICBs, NHSE, media, Department of Health and Freedom of information requests on behalf of the finance function.

Monitor and maintain health, safety and security of self and others. Ensure a safe, secure and fair working environment is maintained with the department.

Lead with professionalism at all times and ensure work within policy.

Line manage the PLICS/SLR Information Manager and Costing Accountant having responsibility for providing clear direction, recruitment, grievance and performance management, and development.

Ensure that the SLR and Costing Team is appropriately configured, and individuals within it possess the qualifications, skills and training to enable them to meet stakeholder expectations and required outcomes.

Support, guide, mentor and provide specific training to Finance staff in their professional development in order to continue to develop the Finance Function.

Fulfil all the duties commensurate with line management responsibility for the costing department including leading and motivating numerous teams where roles are diverse and complex, managing recruitment issues, training, discipline, performance management, delegation and appraisal.

Create an environment where learning and development are encouraged and valued. Actively participate in and promote continuing professional development, encouraging others to stretch themselves and think about long-term career. Develop new approaches to training and willing to experiment with new ideas. Find time to coach staff according to their needs. Ensure that finance staff development links with strategic objectives. Develop appropriate finance skills across the organisation.

Undertake some Continuous Improvement Programme related training

Utilise the Continuous Improvement Programme methodology, as attained through the training, to better incorporate Continuous Improvement language into Costing and SLR processes

Utilise Continuous Improvement Programme training to improve Costing/SLR processes overall

Person Specification



  • Graduate or equivalent.
  • Holds a professional qualification in a relevant subject ACA/ CIMA /ACCA/CIPFA or equivalent OR relevant extensive experience working at this level.



  • Substantial experience gained in a senior management position with specific responsibilities for SLR, PLICS and costing.
  • Experience of managing large amounts of data, using several different sources to combine data into one central file or environment.
  • Proven experience of managing large amounts of data and producing accurate and robust outputs.


  • Project Management experience.

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