£2.8m overspend to be discussed

Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership.

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A forecast health overspend for the current financial year has reduced by over £400,000 within two months, a report has claimed.

Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) now expects to end the 2020/21 financial year with an overspend of £2.56 million, a figure accurate as of September 30 and down from £2.96m at the end of July.

However, the same report reveals that the ‘year to date’ overspend has risen from £2.18m at the end of July to £2.88m at the end of September.

The figures exclude any provision of Scottish Government funding given to NHS Highland, and further assistance from Holyrood for non-delivery of savings due to Covid-19.

The report by head of finance and transformation Judy Orr will be discussed by the HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB) at its meeting via Skype on Wednesday. (Nov 25).

Ms Orr said of the year to date overspend: ‘This consists of an overspend of £931,000 within social work delivered services and a year to date overspend of £1.952m within health.

‘The overspends are mainly on Covid-19 related expenditure where funding from Scottish Government has not yet been received nor accrued, and on savings targets not yet being delivered – again progress has been impacted by Covid-19 pandemic.

‘The social work figures are presented on a cash basis, showing the value of actual transactions processed to date, rather than on an accruals basis, which include adjustments for costs incurred but not yet paid for, and therefore do not reflect the full cost of activity to the end of September.

‘There has been reductions in care home placements and care at home packages due to Covid-19, and whilst providers are encouraged to invoice for additional costs and loss of income through under occupancy, these were still in progress at end of September. Overall the year to date position is still fluid.’

Ms Orr continued that the forecast overspend consisted of £2.06m for social work and £501,000 on health services.

She said that the figure was ‘significantly impacted’ by the Covid-19 pandemic, but that services were now resuming after being stopped.

She added: ‘Additional costs are being incurred for staffing (to cover for people off with symptoms or in households with symptoms, or shielding or with child care issues), and for PPE, additional cleaning, additional provider costs, and running Covid assessment centres across our area.

‘We have received approval in principle for these additional costs and five tranches of funding have been announced – all for social work costs – totalling £1.969m.’