East Ayrshire IJB hits savings targets

Health bosses report ‘marginally favourable’ financial position despite ‘significantly challenging’ year

Tuesday 18th June 2019

East Ayrshire health and social care partnership has bucked the trend across Scotland to report a ‘marginally favourable’ financial position at the end of the most recent financial year.

The public authority was £2m under budget at the end of March, according to the partnership’s accounts.

Bosses plan to set aside some of the cash for future ‘transformation’ projects.

Scottish Government figures show most integration authorities are likely to overshoot their budgets while around half have no emergency savings remaining.

Officials working for East Ayrshire partnership manage a budget of £250m, provided by East Ayrshire council and NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

Despite a ‘significantly challenging’ financial environment, reports to be discussed at a meeting of the partnership’s governing Integration Joint Board tomorrow show a £2m underspend at the end of the 2018-19 financial year.

The savings were achieved in a variety of ways – including delaying the recruitment of replacements when staff members left.

More than £850,000 was saved in this way in physical disability services, for example.

Now, officials plan to set £1.2m aside for ‘transformation purposes’.

They say this spare cash will act as a cushion as the partnership looks to make savings over the next year.

A report to the IJB says this looming cash squeeze represents a ‘significant financial and operation risk’.

It goes on to state a ‘fundamental reconfiguration’ of services will be necessary over the next few years.