Highlands & Islands

NHS Highland expects to avoid forecast £15.6m overspend

Raigmore Hospital
Image caption Most of the money relates to spending at Raigmore Hospital

NHS Highland has forecast a potential £15.6m overspend based on the first three months of the financial year, but said it expects to break even.

In a report going to board members next week, finance director Nick Kenton said the forecast gives "significant cause for concern".

However, he said there was time to breakeven by the end of financial year.

Raigmore Hospital in Inverness accounts for £10.5m of the potential projected overspend.

Mr Kenton said "significant effort" was needed to achieve "financial break even" and avoid the potential £15.6m overspend by the end of March next year.

Waiting list initiatives, nursing reviews and the use of medical locums have been identified as causes behind the overspend at Raigmore, the largest hospital in the Highlands.

Board members are due to discuss the matter on Tuesday.

In a statement, the health board said: "The £15.6m overspend is a potential projected figure based on the first three months of the financial year and while the board appreciates that it will take a significant effort to achieve financial breakeven, NHS Highland remains confident that there is sufficient time remaining in the financial year to allow the breakeven target to be met."

At the end of the last financial year in April the health board had to ask the Scottish government for a £2m loan to balance its books.

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