Health board can wipe out its £10m Government debt

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NHS Borders is set to have £10m in debts cancelled as part of a new deal for health boards in Scotland.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman made it clear the Scottish Government would not be seeking repayment of the loans given to health boards over the last five years as long as they produce finance and improvement plans that break even over a three year period.

Introducing the new three year budget planning process, which aims to allow more funds to be spent on patient care, Ms Freeman said: “I want all boards to be able to focus their attention on delivering the measures set out in the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan and this financial framework, and to do so in a safe and appropriate way - making sure they maintain a strong focus on patient care and the delivery of the services to patients that is safe, effective, person centred – and timely.”

Borders MP John Lamont says that the cancelling of NHS Borders £10m debt is in part due to NHS Scotland getting an extra £2 billion from the UK Government.

“This is welcome news, which would not be possible without the UK Government and the Barnett Formula, said Mr Lamont. “However, the fact that NHS Borders ran up a debt shows that it was underfunded for too long.

“The SNP will soon have £2 billion more to spend on healthcare. The Scottish Government need to recognise that rural health boards are struggling with things like recruitment and make sure they receive the funding they require.”