NHS overspend tops £2M
NHS Highland overspent its revenue budgets by £2 million in the first quarter of this financial year.
In a report to the board, finance director, Nick Kenton warned that, based on this trend, there is a risk that the board will miss its end- of-year target of breaking even by around £ 5 million.
However, Mr Kenton feels that a break- even point can be achieved ‘subject to delivery of cash-releasing benefits from savings plans and transformational projects’.
As an example of cost pressures, the director’s report forecasts an overspend of £ 5.1 million on medical and dental staff.
By the end of the first quarter, expenditure on medical locums had reached a substantial £ 3.3 million.
Mr Kenton will ask the board to reduce the use of locums, which he argues will have a significant impact in reducing the forecast overspend.
The finance director said in his report: ‘ Work is ongoing to look at the arrangements with locum agencies with a view to obtaining a better price for locums provided.’
He added that work to manage the demand for locums is being carried out on an ongoing basis.
Mr Kenton also explained that waiting list initiatives required for meeting treatment time guar- antees represented an additional cost pressure for Raigmore hospital in Inverness.
These, he said, would need to be managed either in the hospital or across the whole NHS Highland region.
Mr Kenton’s report showed that the board had underspent its capital budgets for the period from April to June of this year.
He concluded that the board is on course to breaking even on capital expenditure by the end of the financial year.