Health board overspends by £1.9m on temporary locum staff

Unachieved efficiency savings also contributed to NHS Shetland's overspend between April and August.

Health board overspends by £1.9m on temporary locum staff iStock

NHS Shetland incurred a £1.9m overspend between the start of the financial year in April and August, new figures show.

The overspend comprises of £1.3m on the additional costs of temporary locum staff in addition to unachieved efficiency savings.

A report to health board members from finance director Colin Marsland said until GP vacancies and other unfilled posts – in areas like mental health and general medicine – are recruited to then there will be continuing cost pressures.

It said “pathway redesign models” are also being explored to reduce the reliance on locums.

But the meeting heard that new two GPs have been recruited for Scalloway and Brae.

The report notes that the board and Shetland’s health and care partnership have agreed a joint objective to achieve a sustainable financial position by 2023.

But at present there is a £2.1m gap in the recurring savings targeted by NHS Shetland in 2021/22.

NHS Shetland’s funding allocation for 2021/22 as of August was £61m, which included £700,000 for the response to Covid-19.

Health boards in Scotland are still required to achieve a year end balanced financial position.

Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Chris Cope