£11.1m overspend in health and social care

Kate Beecroft MHK

Kate Beecroft MHK

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The overspent Department of Health and Social Care will seek Tynwald approval this month for extra funding of up to £11.1m for the current financial year.

It says it needs the extra funding to maintain the provision of health and social care services up March 31 this year.

In June last year, Tynwald agreed funding to shore up a £9.943m overspend in the DHSC.

Then then Health and Social Care Minister and now Chief Minister Howard Quayle told the court that the overspend was the result of £5m excess expenditure on agency and bank staff, and the increasing cost of treating patients in the UK for medical and mental health conditions.

The reasons for the overspend are much the same this year – the cost of locums and temporary staffing, rising prices of therapeutic drugs, tertiary care referrals to the UK and losses made by the government catering service.

New Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft MHK, said: ‘Seeking approval from Tynwald for additional funding from the Treasury is not an action the department takes lightly. As Minister I take this matter seriously, especially as it is the second year in a row the department has sought approval for additional funding.

‘My highest priority will be to ensure that the department lives within the resources voted to it for 2017/18. The department must continue its drive to become more efficient; but if the books are to balance it is likely that hard and uncomfortable choices will need to be made. We are operating in an environment of rising demand for health and social care services in tandem with rising costs in providing these services.’

Mrs Beecroft will outline to Tynwald members the steps the department has taken to address the financial challenges it faces as well as future plans to seek sustainability.

The additional money represents a 5.5 per cent overspend against the department’s net budget for 2016/17 of £198.4m.

The financial challenge in providing health and social care services in the island mirrors that in England where NHS providers faced a £2.45bn deficit in 2015/16.

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