Glasgow cash wrangle a ‘risk’ to Argyll healthcare finances

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Argyll’s growing health funding shortfall will be significantly worsened if a cash wrangle with Glasgow health bosses cannot be resolved.

At the January meeting of Argyll and Bute Integration Joint Board (IJB), interim chief financial officer Kirsty Flanagan stressed the significant financial risk resulting from a proposed increase in charges by  NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

According to its own figures, Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership – overseen by the IJB – spent £60 million on buying hospital services from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in 2017/18, equating to around 23 per cent of its total spending.

Rather than on an individual patient basis,the payment is contained within a single transaction covering all services provided, referred to as a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

The stance of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is that there has been historic undercharging of £1.1 million for services provided and they are looking to address this in addition to an agreed uplift.

Argyll and Bute HSCP is currently challenging this.

A spokesperson for the HSCP said: ‘We renegotiate the SLA value each year with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde using the previous year’s value as a baseline. For this financial year (2018/19) we have offered to make payment based on last year’s SLA value plus an agreed uplift.’

If that is not accepted by Glasgow, then the HSCP forecast overspend for 2018/19 could increase by 25 per cent, or £1.1 million.