Financial challenges flagged up for health and social care

An “extremely challenging financial position” continues to face the isles’ health and social care partnership, auditors have warned.

Members of the integration joint board were told by auditor Deloitte on Friday that the board has a responsibility to balance its budget.

The body, which combines SIC and NHS Shetland funds, was told that in 2017/18 it ended up with a surplus of £239,000.

However, NHS Shetland had provided a one-off additional payment of £2.9 million last year to cover its part of the budget.

In a report before members, Deloitte said “this is not a long-term practice and allows the IJB to defer responsibility and action for providing a sustainable service”.

It added a funding gap was predicted of about £2.3 million this year.

Deloitte assistant manager Conor Healy said the IJB could not rely on NHS Shetland to fill the gap and this was not a sustainable approach in future.

A medium to long-term plan was needed, he said. “The IJB knows savings are needed…however it doesn’t know how to achieve these savings,” he said.

• More in next week’s Shetland Times


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