Health bosses in Fife say they are confident of protecting vital frontline services as well as jobs despite having to find savings in the comming year of more than £30 million.
New facilities including the research and development centre at the Victoria Hospital, a specialist dental department and a paediatric audiology centre at Queen Margaret Hospital and a new intensive psychiatric care unit at Stratheden Hospital, will all pay their part, NHS Fife have added, in providing improved levels of future care.
But they have admitted to expecting 2016/17 to be a challenging year as they try to meet, what they have referred to as ‘the evolving needs of our population’ as they seek to value for money from available resources.
The comments come as NHS Fife face increasing pressure from unions and Fife Council administration who have claimed the swinging cuts are both unacceptable and unachievable.
Paul Hawkins, NHS Fife chief executive defended the heath board’s position.
“The needs of our population are changing with many people living longer, often with complex health needs requiring additional services from health and social care services,” said Mr Hawkins.
“In addition we are dealing with increasing medicines, supplies and staffing costs which add to the significant challenge we face.”
He added that NHS Fife were now in the process of drawing up plans that would help deliver a joined up service in a more cost effective and sustainable way.
“Put simply we must work innovatively, making the best possible use of our skilled and dedicated workforce, embracing technologies that will enhance patient care and making certain that every penny we spend provides value for money for the people of Fife,” he added.
“We will continue to deliver the high quality services our patients deserve and through NHS Scotland’s ‘no redundancy’ policy we can ensure that employment is protected for our highly valued staff.
“Instead we will make the necessary savings by redesigning our services to work smarter, embracing new technologies, reducing unnecessary waste and making sure we seek the maximum value from our resources.”
Allan Burns, NHS Fife chairman echoed those sentiments, adding: “The Board is confident that over the coming months solutions will be developed which protect our vital frontline services, and valued staff whilst ensuring we obtain the maximum value for money from our resources.
“We are totally committed to the continued delivery of the high quality care our patients expect and deserve.”