Dundee’s health and social care services are at “significant risk” of running out of cash, service chiefs are set to warn next week.
Figures to the end of 2019 show Dundee’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) is set to spend £3.9 million more than it has in its budget.
Health chiefs are blaming delays in discharging patients from hospital into care and a lack of community resources for the vast overspends.
A report authored by chief finance officer Dave Berry, to be presented to a meeting of the HSCP’s board on Tuesday, warns: “There is a significant risk that the IJB is unable to deliver a balanced budget over the financial year.”
The HSCP aims to join up a number of NHS and council services in a bid to improve care for older people, by cutting delayed discharges and reducing unplanned admissions to hospital.
Delayed discharges due to both a lack of care provision and so-called ‘Code 9’s – where a patient requires arrangements for specialist complex care needs – are in general decline.
However, an ever-ageing population is presenting a challenge for the integrated system.
About £525,000 is set to be overspent on medicine for elderly patients, and spending on bought-in home care services faces a £965,000 excess.
Expenditure on unplanned placements in privately-run and voluntary care homes is also set to exceed the budget by £1.2 million by the end of the 2019/20 financial year.
Mr Berry will tell the HSCP board next week that an action plan is to be implemented to reduce delayed discharge.
However, he is also set to warn that additional cost pressures are likely to put a squeeze on next year’s budget too – with a £3.5 million shortfall already expected.
Dr Drew Walker, director of public health at NHS Tayside, will also warn of the challenges facing local health services in the decade ahead.
In his public health strategy for 2020-30, being presented at the same meeting, he writes: “The population of Tayside currently stands at just over 400,000.
“Over the next 25 years, this population is predicted to increase by 4% with the over 65 years of age population increasing by 37%.”