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Extra funding for health board

NHS Shetland will receive an extra £750,000 from the Scottish Government in the coming financial year through a formula designed to give health boards a fairer share of national funding.

It is one of nine boards in Scotland to receive more cash via the NRAC system to bring them within one per cent of what its representative funding allocation should be.

Finance director Colin Marsland said a reported additional £420,000 to put towards social care via the integration joint board forms part of a previously announced £700,000 injection.

He said it is unclear what the extra three quarter of a million pounds will be used for, as the health board currently faces a funding gap.

In December last year NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts said the health board will have to cut spending by around £4 million as rising costs continue to outstrip its funding.

The Scottish Government said NHS Shetland’s total funding allocation for the next financial year amounts to £44 million.

It also confirmed that the local health board is to receive a share of a £128m pot created to “support delivery of service reform”.

Marsland confirmed that NHS Shetland does not yet know how much money will it gain from the fund, which is primarily focused on boosting primary care and mental health services.

“They’re holding the funds centrally and at the moment we don’t know what share we will get with that,” he said.

“We will probably be required to submit proposals for how we are redesigning primary care and mental health services.”

In a blanket statement released about the NRAC funding, health secretary Shona Robison said the increase is a “substantial additional investment” for Shetland.

“It reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to continue to support our NHS with record levels of investment,” she said.

“However, I am also clear that this investment must be accompanied with service reform. We recognise that our growing elderly population means that we need to shift the focus of care towards the community, and that is what we’ll continue to do.”

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