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NHS Fife Chief Executive, Paul Hawkins, has said that the organisation is committed to continuing to deliver the excellent standards of care it provides, despite the need to make efficiencies in the coming year.

2015/2016 was a positive year for NHS Fife with significant developments in our services and estate which have enhanced the quality of patient care and experience. We have also improved timely access to our services including outpatients, cancer services and diagnostics, and have been commended in audits of our facilities for the high standards of environments in which we deliver care.

We created a number of new facilities including the Research and Development centre at the Victoria Hospital, a specialist dental department and a Paediatric Audiology centre at Queen Margaret Hospital and a new Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit at Stratheden Hospital, all providing modern specialist facilities to improve our service delivery.

We are however expecting 2016/17 to be a challenging year as we try to meet the evolving needs of our population and obtain the best value for money from the available resources. NHS Fife’s budget allocation for the year ahead has been increased by around 1.7% (£9.8m) with a further £16.8million allocated to the Integration Joint Board (IJB), which is the formal partnership of NHS Fife and Fife Council for the provision of health and social care services in the community.

Despite this increased investment we are anticipating that £30.8million of efficiencies will be required across NHS Fife and the IJB due to the increased costs from increasing demands and operating costs and work is underway to identify where these can be made without compromising the standards of care we offer.

Paul Hawkins, NHS Fife Chief Executive, explained “The needs of our population are changing with many people living longer, often with complex health needs requiring additional services from health and social care services. In addition we are dealing with increasing medicines, supplies and staffing costs which add to the significant challenge we face”. 

Work is underway with our partners, staff groups, trades unions and professional organisations to develop plans to provide the levels of savings required. The recent integration of health and social care will be key in helping us to offer more improved and joined up services in a more cost effective and sustainable way.

Mr Hawkins continued: "Put simply we must work innovatively, making the best possible use of our skilled and dedicated workforce, embracing technologies that will enhance patient care and making certain that every penny we spend provides value for money for the people of Fife.

“We will continue to deliver the high quality services our patients deserve and through NHS Scotland’s ‘No Redundancy’ policy we can ensure that employment is protected for our highly valued staff.

“Instead we will make the necessary savings by redesigning our services to work smarter, embracing new technologies, reducing unnecessary waste and making sure we seek the maximum value from our resources.”

Chairman of the NHS Fife Board, Allan Burns added: “The Board is confident that over the coming months solutions will be developed which protect our vital frontline services, and valued staff whilst ensuring we obtain the maximum value for money from our resources.

“We are totally committed to the continued delivery of the high quality care our patients expect and deserve.”