Health board insists patient safety is key ahead of reform

Shona Robison had called on drinks industry to abandon court fight
Shona Robison had called on drinks industry to abandon court fight

Cash-strapped NHS Borders is set to receive an additional £2.9million in the coming financial year as the local health board faces further reform.

The increase represents an uplift of 1.5%, bringing the board’s overall funding to £196.8m.

The uplift includes £2.1 million for investment in social care as part of the on-going integration of health and social care. In addition, NHS Borders will receive a share of £128million to help support delivery of service reform.

This extra funding will support the redesign of services so the NHS can meet the challenges of an ageing population.

Health secretary Shona Robison said: “This settlement represents a substantial additional investment in health services for the people served by NHS Borders.

“It reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to continue to support our NHS with record levels of investment.

“However, I am also clear that this investment must be accompanied with service reform. We recognise that our growing elderly population means that we need to shift the focus of care towards the community, and that is what we’ll continue to do.

“It is nearly one year since we integrated health and social care across Scotland. This reform will enable us to support more people to remain independent for as long as possible, and receive care in the community rather than in hospital.

“Over the coming months we will be working with all health boards to help them develop sustainable financial plans for this year and beyond.

“Together, we will ensure that this investment delivers better care, better services and better value.”

As to how it will use the money, NHS Borders has indicated patient safety will be its top priority when setting in place its financial plan.

The spokesman said: “NHS Borders will present a detailed financial plan for 2017/18 to the board at its meeting on April 6.

“The board’s approach to the financial plan is based on the principles of patient safety as our number one priority, and budgets being set and resources being provided based on the funding available.

“This approach recognises the board’s role in relation to the provision of resources to the Integration Joint Board, and shifting the focus of care to looking after people as close to home as possible. In addition the board needs to recognise a number of costs pressures for the forthcoming financial year which include a pay uplift, the introduction of an apprenticeship levy and national and regional service developments.

“Our focus will continue to be on the delivery of high quality and safe services to people across the Borders.”