Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership says £12.5 million in savings must be made
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The views of people living in Aberdeenshire are being sought on budget saving priorities for the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership (AHSCP).
The AHSCP is responsible for the delivery of most adult health services out with Aberdeen Royal Infirmary as well as social care services.
The AHSCP has now launched a budget engagement survey, to ensure that people across Aberdeenshire are able to inform the budget process whilst understanding the challenges that services face with increasing demands and fewer resources.
Currently, the AHSCP has identified that next financial year, savings in the region of £12.5 million (approx. 3 per cent) must be made across its services.
For people in need to continue to receive the care and support which match their needs, difficult decisions will need to be taken.
Last year the AHSCP had a budget in the region of £400 million to deliver services as diverse as Home Care, Criminal Justice Social Work, Primary Care, Community Nursing, Community Mental Health Services and Community Hospitals.
The AHSCP is overseen by the Integration Joint Board (IJB), which has representation from Aberdeenshire Council, NHS Grampian, third sector organisations and patient and carer representatives. It is the IJB that will have to make difficult decisions at their March 20 budget setting meeting.
Cllr Anne Stirling, Chair of the IJB, said: “This year has been a financially difficult one, for the AHSCP and next year will be no different as we will need to make significant savings across all our services.
“The IJB has been working with Officers to look at where we can be more efficient and where we will need to make a change, or indeed, stop delivering a service.
“Aberdeenshire Council budget consultation has identified that health and care services are in the top 5 priorities, so we know that people across Aberdeenshire value what we deliver and now we need to check in on what individuals see as our priority areas.
“We would really encourage people across our communities to complete this short survey which will give Officers and the IJB a steer on how people feel about how we can deliver our services more efficiently in the future and where to place the priority when considering service reductions.
“These are difficult decisions and we do not take our responsibilities to our communities lightly; however, we have a duty to deliver a balanced budget and value for the scarce public pound.”
IJB Vice Chair, Dr John Tomlinson, echoed Cllr Stirling’s view: “These decisions will weigh heavily on each member of the IJB when we make them at our March meeting, and we are keen to hear views from people across Aberdeenshire to inform how we make those decisions.”