NHS Dumfries and Galloway is set to receive an additional £4.2million in the coming financial year, Scottish Government health secretary Shona Robison announced this week.
The increase represents an uplift of 1.5%, bringing the board’s overall funding to £283.6million.
The uplift includes £3million for investment in social care as part of the on-going integration of health and social care.
This funding will be used by local health and social care partnerships to ensure people have the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
In addition, NHS Dumfries and Galloway will receive a share of £128million to help support delivery of service reform so the NHS can meet the challenges of an ageing population.
Ms Robison said: “This settlement represents a substantial additional investment in health services for the people of Dumfries and Galloway.
“It reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to continue to support our NHS with record levels of investment.
“However, I am also clear that this investment must be accompanied with service reform.
“We recognise that our growing elderly population means that we need to shift the focus of care towards the community, and that is what we’ll continue to do.
“It is nearly one year since we integrated health and social care across Scotland.
“This reform will enable us to support more people to remain independent for as long as possible, and receive care in the community rather than in hospital. Over the coming months we will be working with all health boards to help them develop sustainable financial plans for this year and beyond.”
Galloway Conservative MSP Finlay Carson said: “I welcome any extra investment in the Dumfries & Galloway NHS, because the reality is that our health service is currently at breaking point, with failures across many different areas. This Government needed to do something about it, the question is – ‘is it enough?’
“Since this SNP Government came to power the number of beds in Scotland’s hospitals has fallen by 18 per cent. Just a few weeks ago we learned that one patient in D&G had spent 508 days in hospital after being medically fit to leave; and earlier this month the shocking news emerged that the area has only two radiologists to cover over 100,000 people, a situation that the Royal College of Radiologists said is ‘putting patients at risk’.”
South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper added: “I welcome this above-inflation increase in funding for NHS Dumfries & Galloway, which demonstrates that the Scottish Government is honouring its commitment to increasing NHS funding above the rate of inflation in every year of this Parliament.
“Of course this region continues to face NHS staffing challenges which funding alone will not resolve.
“In fact, NHS D&G held a recruitment event at Dumfries Infirmary last Saturday where senior charge nurses, clinical educators and the practice education facilitators, as well as recruitment specialists, participated in a one-stop-recruitment event to facilitate recruitment of new staff for the new DGRI hospital which is currently under construction.
“We know that it is difficult to recruit GPs and consultants, particularly in the west of the region.
“But this funding will certainly really help to meet the ongoing, increasing pressures our NHS faces on a daily basis.”