Highlands & Islands

NHS Highland boss warns of potential of £100m cuts

A health board faces having to make "an unprecedented scale" of budget savings over the next three years.

NHS Highland's board members have been told that cuts of about £100m may be needed by the year 2020.

A report to board members concludes that the model of care provided in the Highlands would have to change.

It adds that Scottish government plans offer "significant opportunities" to invest more in community care and also in reducing hospital bed blocking.

'Balanced plan'

The potential scale of savings have been set out in a report by NHS Highland's director of finance.

This year the health board is trying to make almost £29m of savings.

Next year the savings target more than doubles with the health authority having to cut another £50m from its budget to break even.

The report said: "Across the course of the next three financial years (2017-2020) the savings requirement is likely to be in the region of £100m.

"This is an unprecedented scale of savings requirement and it is clear that a 'more of the same' approach is not going to deliver a balanced plan and therefore the model of care needs to be changed."

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