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Engagement between those working in clinical disciplines and those in financial roles has never been more important for healthcare accounting, according to a Department of Health publication.

The document, entitled ‘Effective clinical and financial engagement: a best practice guide for the NHS’, spells out the importance of the working relationship between healthcare professionals and those responsible for healthcare accounting practices.

“It is clinicians – doctors, nurses and allied health professionals – who commit NHS resources and who need a greater understanding of the financial consequences of their actions,” the document adds.

With the current focus on maintaining the quality of patient care at a time when budgets are under considerable pressure, the publication suggests that there may in fact be opportunities to derive improvements from the present-day challenges.

For instance, it suggests that engagement between financial professionals and those in clinical disciplines could lead to new partnerships, adding value to the health service beyond what is already there.

As unwise cost savings could lead to declining patient care, the guidance stresses that “it is essential that effective engagement takes place at every level” so that care is both affordable, yet delivered to a high standard.