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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Five Minutes With… Head of Financial Services

Published: 26/09/2022

Hi Jasmine, what do you love most about your job?

What I love most about my job is knowing that the work I do ultimately benefits the service users, staff and the overall organisation.

What made you want to work in the mental health field?

Growing up in the Caribbean, mental health had a ‘taboo’. After I completed my degree and started job hunting, the role of Management Accounts Assistant came up at a Birmingham-based mental health trust. I thought it would be a great opportunity to work for this organisation so I could gain a better understanding and appreciation for mental health…wow 20 years later and I’m still here.

How do you ensure that our money is spent wisely at BSMHFT?

Jasmine Martin

Working as part of a wider Finance, Procurement and Contracting team we all have a responsibility to ensure that the Trust’s money is spent wisely.

In my role as Head of Financial Services I am responsible for Debtors (money coming in), Creditors (money going out), Treasury Management, Charity/Charitable Funds, Payroll Contract, HMRC Compliance, Internal & External Audit, Counter Fraud (I am also the Trust Fraud Champion via NHS Counter fraud Authority), VAT (Value Added Tax via HMRC), Financial Governance (Standing Financial Instructions), Annual Report & Accounts (the Accounts aspects), and everything else that comes my way to sort and resolve.

What is it like being a woman in the finance field?

Hmm… I’ve never really thought of this or think I’ve been affected by being a woman in the finance field. I guess it’s down to me, my personality and career path. I am very confident (very) and I have worked my way up in the Finance Team from junior positions to where I am now, as Head of Financial Services.

There has been a lot of talk about finance and the cost of living as of late, how have you and your team been juggling it all?

The Senior Finance Team along with our HR colleagues and Executive Team have been working, reviewing, discussing what we can do to support staff further. As and when we have agreed on a plan, we will execute it accordingly and ensure all staff are aware of what is in place for them to access. 

There certainly has been a lot of discussions surrounding the cost of living and we are all aware that the current climate may lead to stress or anxieties within our Trust. It is the responsibility of managers to action any changes that affect their staff in a timely manner. The Finance, ESR and Payroll teams will then ensure that all staff are paid correctly, with no delays. We act swiftly in response to role changes, maternity or paternity leave, sick leave, new starters and much more.

What provisions are in place (if any) to support staff who are struggling with the current cost of living?

The most recent provision we have made is the changes to mileage. The Trust has increased mileage rates for all work-related journeys from 56p per mile to 60p per mile and will back date this increase to April 2022. Colleagues can find more information about this on our internal site, Connect. There are also many other helpful financial wellbeing resources provided by the national NHS team that I would encourage colleagues to read. As a Trust we have also ensured that we have reminded staff of the benefits of NHS discounts, Blue Light cards, National Express travel discounts and many other support avenues that can be explored.

What is your involvement when dealing with our charity, Caring Minds?

I was the main responsible person within the Finance team for the Charity for a very long time because of my long-standing history and understanding of it. We have now employed the lovely Louise John, Charity Manager. We have worked on the new strategy and we are working very closely with other NHS Charities to develop and support our vision for Caring Minds so that we can grow and be well placed amongst the other recognised NHS/Mental Health Charities.

How do you look after your own mental health and wellbeing?

By doing things I love and enjoy such as cooking and baking, listening to music, Caribbean cultural activities and socialising.

Describe yourself in three words  

I am cheating a little with the first word, but I would say, no-nonsense, committed and compassionate. 

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