Health and Sport Committee warns over increasing budgetary pressure on NHS boards

28/06/2010

A Scottish Parliament report published today raises concerns that “fundamental weaknesses in NHS management” may be influencing decisions on spending, budgeting and staff resources.

The Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee has completed its review of NHS board revenue allocations for 2010-11 and has raised questions over how budgets have been managed.

Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said: “More staff have seemingly been appointed without any comparable rise in productivity because of the way budgets have been managed in the past. This raises a number of questions, including what criteria are being used to approve new spending and what standard of evidence is expected to support a spending plan.

“The committee is concerned that mechanisms in place for holding NHS boards to account don’t adequately address efficiency within the service. We’re also concerned that reductions in budget growth, against a background of continuing rises in demand and inflationary pressures, will place the NHS under great strain.”

Other key findings of the report include:

• The need for NHS boards to inform and involve local stakeholders in increasingly contentious decisions about where savings can be achieved based on evidence they have gathered.

• A call for reassurance from NHS boards that savings can be made without damaging the quality of service.

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