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Health and Social Care Moray racks up £1million overspend in just three months

Health and Social Care Moray has a £1.65m overspend on its older persons and physical sensory disability budget
Health and Social Care Moray has a £1.65m overspend on its older persons and physical sensory disability budget

Services run by Health and Social Care Moray have already run more than £1million over budget in just three months.

The organisation is currently facing massive cash challenges to get its financial plan on an even keel while long-term plans are being drawn up.

Officials have described the overspend as “not unexpected” due to the partnership of Moray Council and NHS Grampian having a gap of £3.2million in its current budget.

However, the integrated joint board (IJB) that governs the organisation has now been told that the shortfall is giving “cause for concern” for the future.

A new three-plan is due to be implemented in April next year following exercises to redesign services across the region.

Warnings have previously been made that the only option for savings would come from reducing services.

Shona Morrison, chairwoman of the IJB, said the priority for the board would be to redesign services while making the changes indistinguishable for residents.

She said: “It’s a very challenging time. Efficiencies need to be made in a short space of time, there’s no getting away from that.

“The positive thing is that there has already been transformational changes made at Woodview in Lhanbryde and Varis Court in Forres, which is certainly the way forward for the rest of health and social care in Moray.

“The problem is that these things take time and money and there is no getting away from the current financial situation.”

Concerns have been raised about the future of community hospitals in Aberlour and Forres as a new role for them in the future is mapped out by the service – but Health and Social Care Moray, which was formed in 2016, has stressed no proposals have been tabled to close them.

A report prepared for Friday’s IJB meeting has revealed the core services have gone over budget by £1.03million between April and June.

The biggest overspends have been in the assessment and care for older people and those with sensory disabilities and care provided by external contractors, which were both overspent by £227,000.

Meanwhile, work is continuing to identify further savings and opportunities to tap into extra funding.

In a report, Health and Social Care Moray’s chief financial officer Tracey Abdy, said: “The IJB faces challenges of increasing demand for services and a climate of constrained financial resources.

“In this context, the development and implementation of a strategic approach to financial planning over the next three to five years is essential to support the sustainability of health and social care delivery in Moray.”

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