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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12306: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will implement Audit Scotland’s recommendation that it "needs to consider giving NHS boards more financial flexibility" by allowing them  to manage their finances to within plus or minus 0.5% of break-even and, if so, within what timeframe.

Answered by: Shona Robison 16 November 2017

As part of the approach to finance and performance, NHS Boards prepare plans over a medium term timescale and submit this information to the Scottish Government as part of their Local Delivery Plans.

The Scottish Government recognises the need to offer Boards as much flexibility between years as possible, and this is already reflected in the Scottish Government’s approach. Brokerage arrangements and banking of funds to be drawn down in future years are examples of mechanisms from which Boards benefit.

The Scottish Government will consider how to improve on the mechanisms already used to provide financial flexibility for NHS Boards. This will require to be within the wider constraints in which the Scottish Government operates and the regulations set by HM Treasury.