Finance Accounts | Celebrating BWC Spirit

Celebrating BWC Spirit

BWC Spirit Logo We are highlighting the amazing things our colleagues have done and achieved during the pandemic.

Our teams have bravely stood by the side of our patients, changed how they have worked to keep key and emergency services running and gone beyond the Trust to help colleagues in other parts of the NHS.

They have done so with an approach and spirit that is uniquely BWC and we want to celebrate that and what has been achieved.

From frontline clinical colleagues to our unseen and often unsung heroes in labs, offices and in our corridors - everyone has had a part to play and we’re sharing some of their stories over the next two weeks.

If you would like to thank individuals or teams either by sharing some kind words, pictures or a short video we would love to see them. You can submit your messages, pictures or videos by emailing

Finance Accounts

By Gary Williams and James King, Deputy Directors of Finance, Finance Accounts 

Finance Accounts What was your experience of the pandemic? 

It has been challenging. The overriding experience was one of a team that pulled together in difficult circumstances to keep critical functions running and support the organisation. 

As events were unfolding and it became apparent that drastic steps would need to be taken, particularly in the weeks and days heading into, and during, the start of the first lockdown, the team worked tirelessly planning ways that we could function effectively with a significantly reduced site presence. Numerous processes and systems had to be amended in very short order to enable them to be undertaken remotely/electronically. 

While sections of the team moved largely to remote working, in other areas, we needed to maintain on-site functions to support our clinical colleagues and keep critical financial systems working. 

Members of the team volunteered for additional duties including front-of-house, vaccination, etc. It was challenging stepping outside office-based comfort zones, but a great way to connect with the organisation and contribute to the pandemic response. 

Other experiences varied: 

  • Some individuals experienced gains in terms of work/life balance (such as being able to spend time at the start and end of the day with family when ordinarily that time would be spent on a packed commuter train) 

  • Other individuals worked much longer hours (on reflection, the journey to/from work was a useful way to divide home / work aspects) 

  • Ability to work productively and flexibly (travel time saved etc) 

  • Physical inactivity was challenging to manage for some, with no commute or walking to meetings 

What was the hardest part? 

There were so many hard things it’s impossible to say which was the hardest and it would vary for each individual, but the following list gives a flavour of some of the things the team found difficult: 

  • Losing 4 members of staff to Covid  

  • Losing friends and family members to Covid 

  • When several team members were ill with Covid at the same time, and we still needed to keep running 

  • Loss of clinical/operational engagement 

  • Being able to simply visit the wider team 

  • Maintaining Trust-wide engagement in the finance agenda 

  • Inducting new starters 

  • Attempting to work whilst home-schooling 

  • Working from home can be a lonely place, with a lack of daily support network 

  • Supporting team development 

How did you cope? 

The biggest part of this was mutual support and understanding within the sub-teams that make up Finance, particularly such things as: 

  • Routine and regular catch-ups via Zoom, WhatsApp, telephone, etc. 

  • Celebrating small things [1 year working virtually, volunteering to do extra duties] and ensuring virtual calls were not simply confined to work but had a healthy dose of banter etc. 

What did you learn? 

  • Working from home is achievable with the right support (e.g. IT) and engagement  however a hybrid approach more likely to optimal 

  • A paradigm shift in how you measured performance away from hours to outputs 

  • Generally, staff appear friendlier in a crisis 

  • Whilst working from home supports work/life balance if undertaken correctly, working relationships and effective teams need an element of in-person engagement  

How do you think it changed the team? 

The most noticeable change was how individuals stepped up to the challenges facing them. Amid the tough times many were facing individually, team members needed to adapt to a situation where managers were no longer immediately on hand to respond to queries. The confidence staff gained in handling issues and applying their initiative has been a huge benefit. 

Routine communication has changed. The advent of video conferencing has allowed key individuals to be in the same meeting regardless of physical location, aiding consistent and expedient actions. 

Beyond your team, who has inspired you during the pandemic? 

So many individuals it is difficult to list them all. Those that come readily to mind are: 

  • Retired staff returning to work 

  • All frontline staff that worked through the pandemic 

  • Staff redeployed to different areas/hospitals  

  • The army of vaccinators 

  • The ICT team, in the way they deployed technology and worked tirelessly to enable the rest of us to adapt how we work 

We have placed cookies on your computer to help make this website better. You can at any time read our cookie policy. Otherwise, we will assume that you're OK to continue.

Please choose a setting: