Covid leads to NHS over­spend

The Galloway News - - News - STU­ART GILLE­SPIE

The health board has spent £3.6 mil­lion on tackling the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

And that has led to an over­spend of more than £5mil­lion in the first few months of the fi­nan­cial year.

The fig­ures were out­lined in a re­port to NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway’s board meet­ing on Mon­day.

Deputy fi­nance direc­tor Gra­ham Ste­wart re­vealed the health ser­vice had moved to an “emer­gency foot­ing” in March to pre­pare for a surge of Covid-19 cases.

Ac­tions taken in­cluded “a “rapid mo­bil­i­sa­tion to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease in­ten­sive care ca­pac­ity, bring ad­di­tional beds into the sys­tem, cre­ate com­mu­nity assess­ment hubs, ex­pand test­ing and re­cruit un­prece­dented num­bers of ad­di­tional staff to cover the de­mand and pre­dicted staff ab­sence”.

By the end of May, it had cost the health board an ad­di­tional £3.6 mil­lion.

The big­gest ex­pense was in­creas­ing hospital ca­pac­ity, which cost nearly £1 mil­lion.

Mr Ste­wart said there were “po­ten­tially off-set­ting sav­ings” of £1.1 mil­lion due to a re­duc­tion in elec­tive work and re-de­ploy­ing staff into Covid-19 re­lated po­si­tions.

The pan­demic also brought to a halt plans in place to cut £11.1 mil­lion from the over­all bud­get dur­ing the fi­nan­cial year as well as find ways of sav­ing an ad­di­tional £15.5 mil­lion.

That, com­bined with the ex­tra cost of tackling the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, led to a £5.6 mil­lion over­spend by the end of May.

Mem­bers were told that does not take into ac­count the al­lo­ca­tion of any ex­tra fund­ing to sup­port the lo­cal mo­bil­i­sa­tion plan to tackle Covid-19.

Dum­fries In­fir­mary The big­gest NHS spend was on in­creas­ing hospital ca­pac­ity to deal with coro­n­avirus

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