“New deal” for NHS boards

5 Oct 2018 12:52 PM

Longer term budget planning to protect patient care.

A “new deal” for health boards will give them more flexibility to continue delivering quality care, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has said.

In a statement to parliament, Ms Freeman announced that NHS territorial boards will now be required to set out finance and improvement plans that break even over a three-year period. Currently plans are assessed over one year.

If this condition is met, boards will be offered the flexibility to underspend or overspend by up to 1% of budgets in any one year. In order to allow more funds to be spent on patient care, the Scottish Government will not seek to recoup brokerage paid to territorial boards in the last five years.

Ms Freeman was speaking as she announced a new medium term financial framework for Scotland’s health and social care. The document sets out the twin approach of investment and reform to meet the increasing demands expected on our health and care system.

Ms Freeman yesterday said:

“Today I am offering NHS boards a new deal. In return for their efforts to deliver the reforms for the future I am facilitating a new three-year financial planning and performance framework for our NHS territorial boards.

“This change will require boards to deliver a breakeven position over a three-year period, rather than annually as is the case currently. In each year boards will have a 1% flexibility on their annual resource budget to allow them scope to marginally under or over spend in that year.

“For this new deal to be successful I believe it needs a new start. So to give all our territorial boards clear ground to move forward on that three-year planning cycle, I will not seek to recover NHS territorial boards’ outstanding brokerage - the expenditure incurred by Territorial Boards over the last five years which has been above their budget. 

“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.” 

Background:

Health and Social Care Medium Term Financial Framework can be read in full here