NHS Borders (Meetings)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

Ministers and Scottish Government officials regularly meet the leadership of all national health service boards, including NHS Borders. The Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing chaired NHS Borders’s annual review on Friday 16 November.

Photo of Rachael Hamilton Rachael Hamilton Conservative

As the cabinet secretary will know, NHS Borders was escalated to stage 4 last week. It cannot make enough savings to balance the books, and there is a significant risk to delivery, quality, financial performance and safety as a result. For several years, I have been urging the Scottish National Party to take action to address staff recruitment issues, the cancellation of operations and the failure to meet key targets. Will the cabinet secretary listen to those concerns, and is she confident that NHS Borders will see an improvement?

Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

The board was moved further on the escalation ladder to assist it with its financial planning. When boards are asked to make efficiency savings, they keep that money to contribute to redesign and improvement of services. We need NHS Borders, like other health boards, to look at how it can make best use of the increase in resources that it has received to redesign and improve its services. I am confident that, with that escalation and increased support from the Scottish Government, NHS Borders will produce a workable financial plan, which is what we need it to do, that it will make best use of the increased resources that we have given it—which we give to other boards—and that it will successfully make further use of the waiting times improvement plan, which has already begun to see action being taken across our health service.