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Response to Audit Scotland's 'NHS in Scotland 2015' report

Published: 22 Oct 2015 00:01

Scottish Government welcomes annual contribution.

Commenting on Audit Scotland's Overview Report on NHS finances, Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

"The Scottish Government welcomes this annual contribution from Audit Scotland, which confirms the Scottish Government has increased the frontline, resource spending on our NHS.

"The Scottish Government has a clear vision for the future of our NHS and we will continue to take the right action to ensure that Scotland continues to have an NHS that it can be proud of today and in the future.

"Scotland's NHS is now performing better against tougher targets, and as Audit Scotland highlights, we have a record high workforce and the level and quality of care provided to patients has contributed to people living longer along with continued advances in diagnosis, treatment and care.

"In addition we have delivered historically low waiting times, large reductions in hospital infection rates, and some of the highest quality and safest healthcare anywhere in the world.

"We have met and indeed exceeded our commitment to protect funding for front-line health services, with the total health budget growing to over £12 billion for the first time and resource spending growing by 5.8 per cent in real terms in the five years to 2015-16.

"These are strong foundations on which to build. However, I agree with Audit Scotland that we need to up the pace of change on our 2020 vision to provide more care in the community – something that I made clear during a speech to NHS staff in June.

"Earlier this year we unveiled our £60 million primary care fund which will be invested over the next three years to address immediate workload and recruitment issues, as well as putting in place long-term, sustainable change. We are also working on a completely new GP contract to be in place by 2017 which will implement much of the learning from the next few years to redesign these services in a collaborative way.

"Since this report was written we have also announced a further investment of £200 million to create six new elective treatment centres which will allow people to be treated more quickly and help health boards meet increasing demand for a growing elderly population. This highlights our on-going commitment to protecting and enhancing our NHS.

"We are also integrating health and social care and have introduced Self-Directed Support which is empowering people to live more independently.

"We want to ensure that communities get the services they need, delivered by the appropriate range of health and social care professionals working together more effectively.

"We are carrying out far-reaching reforms to our health service, and we continue to consult on how these can be further developed."

Notes to editors

Real terms references

The reference to a real terms increase of 5.8% is based on 2015/16 prices and Summer Budget 2015 HM Treasury data. The Audit Scotland Report expresses real terms in 2014/15 prices based on HM Treasury data as at September 2014.

Capital budget

The Audit Scotland report outlines that the NHS revenue budget – frontline spending - has increased in line with this Government's commitment. The capital budget meanwhile fluctuates from year to year depending on on-going capital infrastructure projects. The reduction in 2015/16 is largely due to the completion of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, which was funded from the capital budget.