£4.4million extra for NHS Borders

The Border General Hospital near Melrose in The Scottish Borders.
The Border General Hospital near Melrose in The Scottish Borders.

NHS Borders is to receive £4.4 million in additional funding for 2015-16, despite claims of being ‘short-changed’ by the central Government.

Health Secretary Shona Robison today confirmed the 2.4 per cent increase.

This brings NHS Borders’ general allocation to more than £184.2 million.

In addition to this, the Government’s announcement of £600,000 for NHS Borders in 2015-16 to tackle delays in discharging patients from hospital will be added to the board’s budget, bring the total uplift to 2.8 per cent.

Ms Robison said: “The Scottish Government’s commitment to increasing NHS Borders budget demonstrates our continuing investment in frontline health spending.

“This comes as Scotland’s total health spending reaches more than £12 billion for the first time ever.

“We’re clear that all patients in the Scottish Borders should be treated as quickly and as effectively as possible, with the right care, in the right place, at the right time. With this increase in funding, health boards are being given more support to achieve this.

“We know there is still pressure on the NHS and this Government is acting to deliver record funding and robust policies needed to support the hardworking and dedicated staff of our NHS.

“Tackling delayed discharge is an absolute key priority for this government and the £600,000 for NHS Borders in 2015-16 is crucial to this effort.

“Reducing delayed discharge not only helps individual patients, who benefit from getting home or to a homely setting as quickly as possible, but also helps ease pressure across the system.

“As we head towards the integration of health and social care this additional funding will also support work underway to transform care services which will get people who may be unnecessarily staying in hospital home or into a homely setting.”

But Conservative MSP John Lamont pointed out that this increase is the lowest out of any of Scotland’s health boards and significantly lower than average rise of 3.4 per cent.

He said: “If NHS Borders had received a 3.4% rise, they would have been given £1.7m on top of what the Government has announced today.

“As a result of spending decisions by the Conservative led UK Government, the SNP now has £300m extra money to spend in 2015-16.

“I welcome that they have passed this money on to the NHS, but it’s clear that once again, the Scottish Borders is being short-changed.