NHS Borders warns of complacency after ‘financial progress’


The NHS Borders President and CEO have warned of complacency after news that the health council is showing “financial progress”.

Last week it was revealed that NHS Borders had moved to Stage 3 of the Scottish Government’s performance escalation framework.

Posted on June 10, NHS Borders is one of six health boards that are currently at stage 3 or higher in the framework.

The region’s board of health was previously in step 4 of the “financial management and position” framework, but has now been lowered.

NHS Borders will receive “tailor-made support” at this point, the government website says.

In a joint statement, NHS Borders President Karen Hamilton and Managing Director Ralph Roberts said: ‘As part of their normal review process, the Scottish Government has recognized the progress made in the NHS Borders in over the past 2 years. and reduced our escalation levels to:

Step 2 for governance, leadership and culture

Step 3 for financial standing and financial management

“This reflects the hard work of staff across the organization and the board is grateful for this work and commitment.

“However, we must not be complacent, especially when it comes to finance where there is still considerable work to be done to achieve financial sustainability and we must continue to show progress.

“We recognize that this work will be difficult, especially as we continue to deal with the impact that the pandemic has had and continues to have on our services.

“We welcome the tailor-made support program that will be underway by the Scottish Government as it will provide ongoing support and review.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication which was recognized in this decision. ”

A report produced by Audit Scotland for 2019/20 said NHS Borders was struggling to become ‘financially balanced’, with the health council needing £ 8.3million in ‘brokerage’ from the Scottish government ‘in order to ‘balance your revenue budget’ for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

In response to the report, NHS Borders said that “Financial plans for 2021/22 and beyond are currently being prepared and this will include an assessment of additional costs and potential opportunities resulting from the impact of the pandemic on the NHS in Scotland ”.

According to the government website, Stage 3 for the NHS borders means it is “considered to require a higher level of support and oversight from the Scottish Government and other high level external support”.

Step 3 means that a formal recovery plan will be agreed with the Scottish government, relevant government directors ‘engaged with CEO and management team’.

Other stage 3 health boards are: NHS Ayrshire & Arran (financial management and position); NHS Highland (financial management and position, leadership and governance culture, mental health performance); NHS Lothian (mental health performance); and NHS Tayside (mental health performance).

Meanwhile, the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is in stage 4 due to ‘QEUH & RHC (infection control and related issues)’.

The government website states: “The decision to move a board to Stage 3 is made by the Board of Health and Social Services Management (HSCMB) which may be motivated by awareness of a known weakness. or the identification of an increasing level of risk in relation to a particular advice. Regarding step 4, the decision rests with DG Health and Social Protection, where consideration of the board’s position in escalation would normally be motivated by the fact that a board no ” has not implemented the corrective actions agreed in step 3 or the identification of significant weaknesses considered to present an acute risk to financial viability, reputation, governance, quality of care or patient safety .


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