NHS cash pressure warning10th December 2009
Scottish health services are set to face significant financial pressures over the next five years.
Spending watchdog Audit Scotland warned that NHS budgets were likely to fall as a result of the recession and that the country was also facing some “deep-seated health problems” with issues such as teenage pregnancy and drug abuse needing to be tackled in partnership with education and social services.
However, Audit Scotland also noted that the NHS had met most of its national targets for patient care and service improvement in 2008/09 – including reducing cancer wait times - with all of the country’s NHS boards hitting financial targets. The health service had showed a £4m underspend.
Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Black, said the health service met 10 out of 13 performance targets in the past year.
He said: "The financial performance of the NHS in Scotland continues to improve, with all bodies meeting their targets in 2008/09 and the service finishing the year with a small underspend.
"However, the service faces real pressure, from both existing cost pressures and from the impact of the recession on public sector spending.
"As the amount of public money available reduces in coming years, the NHS will need to ensure that it continues to provide good quality care while becoming more efficient, and it should make sure it is getting the information it needs to achieve this."
Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, Dr Brian Keighley, said the drive to meet targets for 2% efficiency savings would become increasingly difficult.
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Title: NHS cash pressure warning
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 13488
Date Added: 10th Dec 2009