Fife hospitals £2m over budget ...

Victoria Hospital
Victoria Hospital

FIFE hospitals are facing a £2m overspend.

The figure was revealed in a report which went before NHS Fife’s operational division committee last Wednesday.

Although NHS bosses are expecting to break even by the end of the current financial year, the health board’s operational division is moving towards an overspend in its budget that it will have to recapture over the next few years.

But it’s hoped that by moving acute services to the one site at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, the division can make savings by removing the need to duplicate staff rotas between Victoria and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.

Andrew McCreadie, assistant director of finance, said the move to a single site should help ease the current financial position.

Unsustainable

He said: “The operational division is one part of NHS Fife which is responsible for delivery of acute services.

“The division is still operating with an overspend, which is not sustainable. However we have moved hospitals and been in the winter spell which brings its own challenges.

“What we would like to see is a level of financial stability as we move into the new financial year.

“Clearly there hasn’t been the level of achievement given the current level of overspend to date, but we have evidence of some improvement. We will report overall break-even at year end.”

The biggest overspends were in surgery and emergency care.

Staff costs were £1.5m above budget and supplies in emergency care were over by £363,000.

Nurses’ wages

Nurses wages in elderly care were largely responsible for a £629,000 overspend with extra staff brought in to oversee patients and cover sick leave.

Planned care and surgery saw an overspend of over £1.6m, with orthopaedics over by £539,000. This was mainly due to junior medical agency staff being drafted in to cover rota gaps and nursing expenses

Figures for ambulatory care - including laboratories, endoscopy, radiology, ophthalmology - was overspent by £636,000, while estates and facilities had the biggest underspend at £818,000.

Mr McCreadie added: “The year-to-date position shows an overspend of £2.06m on revenue budgets after the first 10 months of the year.

‘‘However, work continues to identify schemes to meet this year’s original required savings target of £5.38m.”