NHS Borders announce £5.9m cuts

FOLLOWINg claims by Scottish Labour earlier this week, NHS Borders have confirmed they need to save £5.9 million in the next financial year but gave assurances that the cuts won’t jeopardise the quality of patient care.

According to the Labour party, a report to Holyrood’s health committee from Dr Andrew Walker, an independent health economist from the University of Glasgow, shows NHS boards across Scotland plan to make £226.7m in planned cuts next year.

Although compared to the likes of boards in Greater Glasgow & Clyde and neighbouring Lothian, who are lining up savings of £58 million and £27 million respectively, NHS Borders are at the lower end of the scale, director of finance, Carol Gillie admitted the health board was facing “a period of significant financial challenge.”

She commented: “The financial plan for 2012/13 and indicative plans for the following two years were approved at the Board on March 29, 2012. NHS Borders, as is the case for the public sector in general, continues to face a period of significant financial challenge with savings of £5.9m required in 2012/13.

“However, the achievements over the past few years should give the organisation the confidence to deal with the financial pressures that lie ahead.

“We have achieved financial balance for 2011/12 and have been developing plans/projects to ensure we continue to meet targets in future years.

“These projects include reviewing support services, discretionary spend, income generation, workforce and service redesign, improved procurement and cost effective prescribing.

“By doing this we aim to ensure financial stability and support staff to continue to deliver our highly valued services and maintain the quality of patient care.”