The Scottish Government’s Finance Minister has confirmed, in the budget today, that instead of closing the funding gap for NHS Grampian the local health board will see only a 1.9% increase in cash terms, opposed to an increase of 2.7% for Scotland as a whole.
Alongside an annual UK inflation rate of 3.1% the modest increase from £902 million to £920 million will leave the local health board worse off in real terms, North East MSP Mike Rumbles has said.
NHS Grampian presently receives the lowest share of funding per head of population of any health board in Scotland. Moreover, according to the Scottish Government’s own targets it has failed to deliver its own financial commitments for nine years in a row, leaving local health services a total of £165 million out of pocket.
Mr Rumbles said: “I’m shocked that the Scottish Government has again failed to redress the funding gap for NHS Grampian. What makes matters worse is that the Cabinet Secretary for Health seems to have failed to take the necessary steps to convince the government of the desperate straits NHS Grampian is in.
“With UK inflation at 3.1% and NHS Grampian’s share falling short by 0.8% of the Scottish average increase, this is effectively a real terms cut for our local health board.
“I have never been more convinced that this is a government that is blind to the North East and the needs of our local communities. At a time when our local health services are struggling to provide adequate care to patients, today’s budget was nothing more than tinkering around the edges.”
Notes for editors:
- NHS funding across Scotland will increase in 2018/19 from £1.056 billion to £1.085 billion, an increase of 2.7%.