The board of NHS Borders has formally approved its financial plan for 2019/20, which includes savings of £12.4m. However, it still has a £9.3m financial gap.
Although unable to demonstrate a break even position in the coming year the board says that it is satisfied with the approach being taken as part of the organisation’s Financial Turnaround Programme.
A detailed three year plan aimed at returning the organisation to financial balance is now being developed and will be submitted to the board for consideration in August 2019.
The board has been escalated to Stage 4 on the Scottish Government’s NHS Board Performance Escalation Framework following concerns over risks to delivery, quality, financial performance or safety. And the convenor of the cross-party Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee raised concerns with the NHS Borders chairman about ‘the weakness of evidence given in relation to strategic thinking and planning’ and its apparent reliance on ‘brokerage for an indeterminate number of years into the future’.
Director of strategic change and performance, June Smyth said: “The efficiency challenge the board is facing is significant and at a level that will take a number of years to address.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the dedication of our staff in delivering care to our patients, despite the challenging financial climate that we are all committed to overcome.”