Funding boost for NHS Borders

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IN line with other boards across the country, NHS Borders has received an additional funding increase from the Scottish Government which will see their initial revenue funding allocation of £175.4 million increased by 2.8 per cent.

All health boards are to share £9.1 billion in revenue funding in 2013-14, with territorial boards, including NHS Borders, being given a general allocation increase of £256 million for 2013-14.

But given the current economic climate all boards will also be expected to achieve efficiency savings of at least three per cent.

Health Secretary Alex Neil commented: “We are committed to protecting spending on health, and this budget reflects a funding increase in real terms of 1.3 per cent for territorial health boards across Scotland.

“Despite a difficult economic climate, we know how important it is that we continue to invest in our NHS – that is why we have protected health spending so we can continue to deliver a first class service to patients across the country.

“It is right that, despite protected budgets, the NHS is as efficient as possible with taxpayer’s money.

“That is why all health boards are making efficiency savings in excess of three per cent, which will be reinvested in frontline services.”

Carol Gillie, Director of Finance at NHS Borders, told ‘The Berwickshire’ that she hoped the funding boost would help the health board to provide a high standard of care to patients throughout the region.

She commented: “We welcome the increase of 2.8% in our funding allocation from the Scottish Government. The additional resources will support NHS Borders to continue to provide high quality health care for its local population although the predicted demographic changes will continue to make this challenging.”

Paul Wheelhouse added: “We cannot take our NHS staff and services for granted and I, for one, am well aware that the great progress that has been made in patient care is due to hard work by the NHS staff in difficult circumstances, given relatively steep rises in costs of providing health services.”

Over £525 million will also be invested in improving NHS buildings and equipment. This includes £105 million transferring from the revenue to capital budget, which is part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to boosting economic activity.