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Funding gap plugged by care group in Moray but warnings persist about future

Shona Morrison
Shona Morrison

A care cash crisis in Moray has been eased after a multi-million-pound budget black hole has been closed in the space of a year.

Health and Social Care Moray was facing a £4.6million gap in its finances at this time last year amid fears front-line services could be axed.

Now the organisation, which is funded by the council and NHS Grampian, is proposing a balanced budget for the first time since it was formed in 2016.

Savings totalling £3.1million are still being put forward for the forthcoming year through including better management of prescription medicines, a review of community hospitals and a reduction in external services.

However, the plight has also been boosted by an additional £2.6million from the Scottish Government and Moray Council maintaining its funding following a £1.2million cut last year.

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Yesterday, Shona Morrison, chairwoman of Health and Social Care Moray’s governing integrated joint board (IJB), stressed that efforts to keep control of finances would continue.

She said: “Considering where we started from last year a huge amount of work has gone into getting us to this point.

“One of the big focuses for us is to move away from that unscheduled care that is very reactive and move to a model where people are looked after in the community a lot more.

“That kind of work needs us to work together with every other agency to make sure we’re going in the right direction and delivering the best health outcomes for people.”

Despite presenting a balanced budget for next week’s IJB meeting warnings have still been made about the future by Health and Social Care Moray staff.

In a report, chief financial officer Tracey Abdy warned GP prescriptions will continue to be “volatile” in nature while growing demand for services will continue to put strain on them.

Meanwhile, reviews will be carried out on services provided as part of a recovery plan to ensure they provide value for money while still achieving its objectives.

Mrs Abdy said: “Growth and demand in the system, together with service users with complex care needs are attracting additional financial challenge.

“These issues require to be managed within the overall resource of the Moray IJB.”

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