latest health care news

17.09.14

Leaked papers say Scottish NHS faces £400m funding gap

Leaked confidential papers suggest that Scotland’s NHS faces £400m funding gap and a major cost-cutting plan will be implemented after the independence referendum.

The papers, passed to the BBC and Herald Scotland by a senior NHS whistleblower, were presented to a meeting of health board chief executives and civil servants 6 August.

They state: "The status quo and preservation of existing models of care are no longer an option given the pressing challenges we face."

The Scottish government passed an initiative to encourage more community care, in an effort to transform care by 2020. However the papers say that this has been undermined by “continued commitments” that are “directly in conflict” with the new initiative and increase the cost of expensive hospital care.

According to the documents, the new obligations aren’t fully funded and they outline a funding gap of £400m-£450m in the next two financial years. The documents conclude that the “status quo in terms of service and workforce planning is not an option”.

The whistleblower told the BBC: "Services are unsustainable right across Scotland from three emergency centres in Lanarkshire, to emergency care at the Vale (of Leven) to paediatrics at St John's (in Livingston), and with particular issues for more rural boards, hence the problems at Grampian.

"The current pattern of services is underpinned but short-term money and fixes won't stack up going into next year.

"There is a complete gap between policy announcements about care in the community and more money for primary care, and the announcements and commitments which continually increase the cost of acute care."

The leak has damaged Alex Salmond’s efforts to put the NHS at the centre of the referendum campaign. He had previously been alleging that privatisation of NHS services in England would force Scotland to cut health spending.

Alistair Darling, head of the Better Together campaign, said: "Today we learned that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have been deceiving us. I find that quite appalling. After all these scare stories they've known that these cuts are coming along, but we weren't going to be told about it until after the polls had closed."

The Scottish government said the paper was "part of the regular discussions among NHS leaders to plan for NHS Scotland's future".

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil told the BBC: “We've protected Scotland's NHS from the Tories' cuts, and with independence we can ensure that it is never again under threat from Westminster's dangerous obsession with austerity.

“Despite Scotland's budget being slashed by 7.2% by George Osborne between 2010/11 and 2015/16, our increases in health spending means that the NHS is receiving record high funding, with a budget increase of over £1bn between 2010/11 and 2015/16.”

(Image: c. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

  

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Pre-diabetes: a hidden healthcare problem

26/05/2020Pre-diabetes: a hidden healthcare problem

Dr Russell Muirhead, Clinical Director of Living Well, Taking Control A third of adults in England have pre-diabetes, according to research published in The BMJ. The study ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >