We must find new ways to save money

Work to cut down on an overspend in NHS Fife’s Operations Divison budget is ongoing in a bid to meet financial targets this year.

According to the latest figures reported to the operational divisional committee last Wednesday at the midway point of the current financial year, the division had an overspend of £2.3 million.

But members received reassurances that measures were being taken to try and reduce this figure.

Andrew McCreadie, NHS Fife’s assistant director of finance, said: “We’re in a situation where the operations division continues to overspend on a month to month basis.

“The financial position of NHS Fife is what the key measure is at the end of the financial year, but we’re obviously keen to ensure there’s a control on the month to month position as early as possible to ensure NHS Fife is able to meet financial targets this year.”

The report showed the division has spend £85.1m in the sixth months from April to September, against a budget for the year to date of £82.7m.

Amid this overspend £1.4m came from planned care and surgery and £1.4m from emergency care and medicine.


In some areas the overspend relates to pay and is largely due to agency cover.

Committee members also heard a total of £2.2 million of efficiency savings plans have already been identified within the division in the last six months.

However, the savings plans identified in the financial framework earlier this year totalled £2.5 million for 2012/13.

Mr McCreadie explained: “If there is slippage in an identified saving or it is not now going to deliver we need to find alternatives to bridge that gap.”

He said work was ongoing to identify such alternatives and find the savings.

Dave Stewart, chairman of the committee, asked: “Looking in a crystal ball, where will we be at the end of 12 months?”


Mr McCreadie added: “Without being Mystic Meg it’s a difficult one to call.

“There’s an obvious recognition across the division that it is a challenging financial time this year.

“We have an action plan in place we’re monitoring around cost reduction measures in order to bring control to the month to month spends.

“We hope to see some improvements between now and the end of the year.”

He said that regular meetings were also taking place to look at other ways to support reductions in expenditure.