NHS Borders deficit of £14.4m predicted

NHS Borders is facing an ever-worsening financial plight, its chief executive has admitted.
Ralph Roberts, chief executive of NHS Borders.Ralph Roberts, chief executive of NHS Borders.
Ralph Roberts, chief executive of NHS Borders.

The health board reported an £11.93m overspend for the first 10 months of the financial year 2022/23.

If spending continues at the same level the board is looking at an end of financial year deficit of £14.4m - a good deal higher than the £12.2 million deficit agreed with Scottish Government.

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And because NHS Borders is projecting a financial deficit it will be required to submit a financial recovery plan to Scottish Government.

Ralph Roberts, the health board's chief executive, will be attending the Health & Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, March 21 to discuss the current position.

Mr Roberts admitted NHS Borders was facing 'exceptional pressures' to balance the books and that 'difficult decisions' on service provision lay ahead.

He added: “Our financial position remains extremely challenging with a significant gap between our ongoing expenditure and funding. There is work going on across the organisation to identify and deliver savings so that we can meet the agreed position with the Scottish Government at the end of the financial year.

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“As we continue to face exceptional pressures, with significant service, workforce and financial challenges, it is important that we have clear plans in place to make progress towards our future savings targets. We are also progressing work to ensure we have good control of our spending as well as maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of all our services so that we maximise the level of service we provide within the resources we have available.

“Recognising the increasing pressure on the NHS and the changing demographics of our population I am very clear that over the coming years we will need to make some difficult decisions in relation to the services we provide. We are committed to doing this in partnership with our staff, partners, communities and people who use our services."