NHS Tayside has begun to show improvements in financial management and governance, but the board still faces substantial long-term financial and operational challenges.
In a report to the Scottish Parliament, Auditor General for Scotland Caroline Gardner said NHS Tayside has been in an unsustainable financial position since 2013. The board will need continued financial assistance until 2021/22 to balance its budget.
There have been significant overspends in nursing and agency costs, prescriptions and referring patients out with Tayside, together with widespread concerns about the provision of mental health services.
Caroline Gardner said:
“It is a positive forward step that NHS Tayside now has a transformation plan, but moving away from the current ways of working will be difficult without well-developed and detailed implementation plans. So far there is little evidence of the sustainable service redesign and transformation that is critical to reducing costs while maintaining or improving services.
“The future is challenging for NHS Tayside. Effective and stable leadership will be critical in bringing about long-term service transformation.”