Scotland plans 1.7% increase in NHS funding

NHS Scotland has said that health boards will share £11.4bn in revenue and capital spending in 2011-12

The Scottish health service plans to increase its spending by £191m (1.7%) to £11.4bn in the coming financial year.

NHS Scotland expects to spend £8.58bn on revenue funding in 2011-12, including a £70m change fund to work with local authorities on the redesign of health and social care services.

The investment aims to support the Scottish government’s plans to continue to reduce healthcare associated infections, deliver the 18 week referral to treatment standard and expend a further £25m in 2011-12 to fully abolish prescription charges.

Additionally, health boards will also split capital funding of more than £488m, which has been earmarked for building new facilities and improving those that already exist.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said that the increase in revenue funding to NHS boards “clearly demonstrates the Scottish government’s commitment to protect spending on health”.

“This funding will ensure that boards can continue to have the necessary resources to bring about real benefits to both patients and staff,” she said. “In addition, despite the significant cuts to Scotland’s capital budget the Scottish government is continuing to prioritise spending on improving facilities in the NHS.”

Sturgeon added: “Not only will this improve buildings and equipment it will support vital sectors of the economy such as the construction industry.”

Under government targets, all health boards in Scotland are required to make 3% efficiency savings, which will then be put back into frontline services. A differential efficiency target has been set for special health boards services not delivering direct patient care services to improve efficiency and support funding frontline services.

When undertaking revenue allocations for Scottish NHS boards, the government takes into account each board’s share according to a number of needs including population share, the age and sex breakdown of that population and level of deprivation.

In England NHS spending will rise from £103.8bn in the current financial year to £114.4bn in 2014-15, an increase of 10.2% over the whole parliament. Although spending will increase in each year of parliament, it only amounts to 0.4% in real terms. However, most other departments will make cuts of averaging 19% over the next five years.