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by Tom Freeman
12 January 2015
Funding boost for health boards

Funding boost for health boards

All territorial NHS boards are to receive increased budgets in the coming financial year, Health Secretary Shona Robison has announced.

The £65m fund will bring all health boards within one per cent parity as per an NHS funding formula devised by the National Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC) a year ahead of schedule, the Government said.

The announcement comes after several health boards struggled to cope with the volume of Accident and Emergency cases in recent weeks. Boards reported one of the key challenges over this period had been the number of admissions to hospital.

Robison said: “Our NHS services faces challenges as a result of the increase in patients, with more complex illnesses, and the rising costs of expensive new drugs.

“This £65m additional investment increases the resources available to health boards will help alleviate these pressures and ensure our NHS can continue to deliver effective and sustainable care to all patients across Scotland.”

Audit Scotland recently highlighted healthcare inflation is greater than general inflation, and noted some of the challenges experienced by health boards, including NHS Orkney and NHS Grampian, are exacerbated by the fact that the revenue allocation had not been aligned with the expected NRAC formula for distributing resources. It is hoped the new funds will relieve that pressure.

The Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee today reported on the draft budget, and called for more information on the impact this transfer of resources will have on other priorities and services. The committee also requested more detailed breakdowns of spending on private services like agency staff and unitary charges resulting from privately financed capital projects.

NHS Grampian, which is under review after concerns about patient care and a number of high-profile departures, is to receive an extra £15.2m. Labour’s North East MSP Richard Baker said: “For months, doctors and nurses in NHS Grampian have been warning of growing pressures on our health service. The fact that so many patients were turned away by Aberdeen Royal Infirmary last week shows what a mess the NHS is in under the SNP.”

All health boards will see an increase, but the among others to benefit most is NHS Lanarkshire, which is to get £9.6m, NHS Highland £9.4m and NHS Orkney which is to be boosted by an additional £4.2m.

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