The NHS was rightly allowed to respond to the pandemic without the worry of how much it would cost. Over the last two to three years, we saw substantial investment to support Covid. But going forward the expectation of robust financial control and living within budgets is back.
SCAS is committed to playing our part and working with partners across all our areas to deliver the best care within the budgets we have. Our Board has committed to a break-even budget for 2023/24; working with the £315m we have available. This is a big challenge for us with demand remaining high and the increasing complexity of care patients need. It means finding around £13m of efficiencies against our initial projections for 2023/24; but it’s a challenge we’re grasping with both hands.
A critical part of making the most of our budget will be working closely with other partners in health and social care to make sure patients are getting the right care, first time. Our work to give ambulance crews more options other than taking patients to A&E is a great example of this. We now have over 120 different pathways agreed with partners, and last year this helped 50,000 patients get the right treatment more quickly, and helped make the NHS run more efficiently.
In the year ahead we’ll be taking every opportunity we can to work with partners and patients to provide the best care in the most efficient ways possible.