THE CHIEF officer of Shetland’s health and social care partnership Simon Bokor-Ingram “strongly believes” that NHS Shetland will not break even this year for the first time.
Members of the integration joint board heard on Wednesday that the partnership faces a projected deficit of £4.86 million this financial year.
Around £4.3 million of that is overspend on the NHS Shetland part of the budget, while the rest is from the Shetland Islands Council arm.
IJB members were warned on Wednesday that more savings will need to found in the future if this is the case.
Bokor-Ingram told the meeting that a reliance on recruiting expensive temporary locum staff to fill posts is costing the partnership dearly, with a projected overspend in primary care this year of £1.1 million.
The director of community health and social care at NHS Shetland said he thought it is likely the health board will not balance its books.
“I strongly believe this will be the first year that we [NHS Shetland] have not been able to break even,” Bokor-Ingram said.
The integration joint board, which launched in Shetland in 2015, is a separate legal entity and is expected to balance the books thanks to one-off payments from its two partners.
Chief finance officer Karl Williamson conceded that “every year things get tighter and tighter”.
Councillor Allison Duncan stressed again that a case should be made to the Scottish Government for help with the cost of locums, travel and accommodation.
NHS Shetland needs to find over £2 million of savings in 2018/19, but so far none has been realised.
Bokor-Ingram also warned members that while Shetland has been able to find locum cover for posts in the past, this may not always be the case in the future as jobs elsewhere in the UK and abroad may be more “enticing” for staff.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News