Scottish Budget targets greater integration

02 March 2020 Seamus Ward

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ScotlandThe funding rise includes an extra £594m for frontline, territorial boards (see table), with NHS and national board capital increasing by £92m to £448m. The overall health and sport budget will rise to more than £15bn for the first time, and more than £9bn will be invested in integration.

The overall 4.2% cash rise in frontline funding includes a £17m pot to ensure no health board is more than 0.8% away from its target allocation. Dedicated funding of £121m will be allocated to improving outcomes. This includes an additional £28m for reform of mental health and child and adolescent mental health services. Mental health reform investment will rise to £89m – in the current year this fund is worth £61m.

The Scottish government has pledged that, over time, more than half of health spending will be in community services. This includes spending on areas such as general medical, dental and ophthalmic services, as well as community mental healthcare. In 2020/21, it plans to continue the move towards this goal, with more than £2.1bn allocated to community health services – up from £1.85bn in 2019/20.

Much of the focus of its capital spending will be environmental sustainability. The government said NHS Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions will be net zero by 2045. The supply chain will be reviewed to minimise its environmental impact.

The Attend Anywhere programme of virtual clinics will be expanded, improving patient access and reducing emissions. Capital will also be provided to extend elective care capacity and invest in a new £200m hospital in Aberdeen.

National boards such as the Scottish Ambulance Service and Public Health Scotland will receive an additional £86.5m.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: ‘The Scottish Budget continues to shift the balance towards primary, social and community care and to support our focus on mental health. It ensures we remain on track to deliver more than half of frontline NHS spending in community health services by the end of this Parliament.’