The MioCare Group CIC (the “Made In Oldham Care” Group) provides care and support to people while promoting independence, choice and wellbeing. The group was established as a provider by Oldham Council in December 2013, and the Group’s ambition is to set the standard for quality of care in the sector.
MioCare had experienced significant changes in Finance resources following the departure of the long-standing Finance Manager in 2020, the loss of company knowledge arising from his departure and the subsequent difficulties experienced since in recruiting and retaining permanent resources to take the function forward.
The MioCare Finance Team comprised three full time equivalents roles, which were fully resourced by interim resources at the time of the review. As part of wider Group support, Oldham Council had agreed to provide part-time support, delivered by experienced Finance resources.
The Group’s Managing Director (MD) commissioned C.Co to review the current Finance service to ensure it meets the needs of the Group in its journey to achieving its ambition. The objective was to provide the MD with an independent evidence-based review of the structure and resourcing of the service and to identify solutions for an appropriately resourced value-added Finance service to future-proof the Group.
MioCare was particularly keen to develop a fully resourced team with permanent, appropriately qualified and experienced resources to support the Group, and was looking to C.Co for support to:
- Determine and cost the structure to support the Group, going forward, include the inclusion of appropriate value add activities, e.g. contributing to Business Cases.
- Identify and document minimum levels of good practice.
- Identify resourcing considerations and training requirements across the service.
- Recommend any further actions.
The Group’s vision was for the Finance team to have a wider remit of partnering and support to its stakeholders by delivering high-quality finance service and business support, including supporting the business to evaluate options and to take decisions. This collaboration would include, for example, a clear role for Finance in the preparation of business cases, supporting the business to identify savings opportunities, to stress-test the budget and to carry out options appraisals.
The client agreed that the review would be conducted and finalised within an 8-week time frame so that the recommendations would be available for the autumn meeting of the Group’ s Finance, Audit and Risk (FAR) Committee. Therefore, once appointed, C.Co responded at pace to the client’s requirements and assigned appropriately experienced and qualified resources. Mobilisation of the project was carried out with the MD on 20th June 2022 and C.Co agreed the planned approach with the MD tailored to suit their specific needs. This involved four key elements:
- A desk top review of policies, procedures, Role Profiles and written staff feedback was obtained and reviewed.
- The team also individually completed a review of their Role Profiles, via the completion of the “quadrant exercise”. They then met as a group to collectively discuss the outcome. This was followed by 121 meetings with C.Co, to further examine the written outcomes , identify conclusions and to help to form recommendations for the service going forward.
- Benchmarking the Group’s Finance service with that based in a similar organisation, located in the North West region.
- On-site workshops and staff engagement sessions with the MioCare Finance and Senior Leadership Teams (SLT) on 21st July 2022. The workshops were held separately in order to capture the service provider and customer perspectives but they followed the same format, which was based on a SWOT analysis followed by a Forcefield Analysis. The sessions were pivotal in identifying the aspiration for the Finance Team to transition into a business partner role and the actions required to achieve this.
The client was motivated during all the activities and engaged fully in the 121 meetings and the group activities. The outcome was the ability to separately identify and agree the strength and weaknesses, opportunities and threats and the associated aspirations for the Finance Team, which were identified separately by both stakeholder groups.
The review has identified structural opportunities, which will ensure a heightened approach to managing financial risks and responding to opportunities and developing a framework to deliver its core responsibilities and to meet the needs of customers, as a Finance Business Partner. C.Co prepared revised Role Profiles for the roles in the team to support the Finance Business Partner objectives. The recommendations were designed to ensure:
- Appropriate empowerment, accountability and control, and effective collaboration with the business.
- Appropriate links to the Group’s strategies and plans and to ensure appropriate alignment with its shareholder’s interests.
- Facilitated decision-making at the right level, at the right time and for the right reasons
- Encouragement of positive behaviours and outcomes.
- Improvement overall and regulatory compliance.
- Acting as a direct link to the Group’s constitution, audit, risk, finance and contract procedure rules.
Following the review, the report was agreed with the Managing Director, who subsequently presented the key outcomes and actions to the Group’s FAR Committee on 5th October for subsequent ratification by the Management Board.
Following approval being obtained, recruitment commenced. One Finance Officer has been recruited and the process has started to recruit the Head of Finance and the second Finance Officer based on the work that was completed.
The balance of the desk-based review and workshops was highly effective and appreciated by the client. In addition, the ability to access information provided in the quadrant exercise allowed C.Co to tailor the workshop sessions appropriately. The client’s Finance Team and the SMT were highly engaged, motivated and responsive in the group sessions.
By way of further support, C.Co colleagues met with the MD on 11th August 2022 to discuss the Draft Report and to help the client to consider the next steps, including reporting to the FAR Committee.
The C.Co Team was well placed to conduct the review, as we have significant experience in and knowledge of Finance, Risk Management and the role of the Finance Business Partner. In addition, we have specific expertise in the delivery of workshops with stakeholders to transform service delivery, organisational governance and compliance.
“It was great to work with the C.Co team on what was an important piece of work for us. C.Co’s approach was engaging and landed really well with the team who felt their feedback was heard, acted on and that they had real influence on the outcome and recommendations. Our senior team and Board viewed the project as a big success and we are implementing the findings from the review.”
Karl Dean, Managing Director