NHS Grampian facing ‘unprecedented’ £77m budget blackhole


NHS Grampian is facing its most challenging year ever with the health board required to find savings amounting to more than £77m.

Interim Chief Executive Adam Coldwells informed members of the board of their “unprecedented” financial situation in a report ahead of a meeting on Thursday.

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“The scale of this challenge cannot be underestimated,” he said in his board report.

“This scale of financial reduction can only be achieved through a mix of close control over day-to-day spending, significant focus on organisation-wide areas of high expenditure and transformation driven by clinical services. In the short-term we’re encouraging all staff to play their part by using resources efficiently.”

He added: “Our forecasts anticipate a more challenging year for all Health Boards than we have ever previously experienced.”

Coldwells told staff during an online Q&A that he was “very keen” to pursue additional beds for NHS Grampian facilities, but doesn’t have money or space.

More than £5m was spent on new acute beds last month to help ease pressures.

He added: “We need to save £210,000 a day every single day for 365 days of the year which again is an incredible sum of money.”

As many as 18 ambulances have been seen queuing outside Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) in recent weeks, something First Minister Humza Yousaf said in parliament was “simply not acceptable”.

“I’ve been extremely concerned about the reports that we’ve heard from paramedics directly,” he added.

In November last year, medics waited around 18 hours between arriving at ARI and clearing the hospital.

It was the longest wait time recorded at any Scottish hospital in the previous 12 months.

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