Health chiefs target £28m savings drive

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LOTHIAN health bosses have targeted new savings of almost £28 million.

NHS Lothian will have to find the cash despite receiving an above-average increase in government funding of £47m in 2013-14, due to soaring costs and patient numbers and a commitment to substantial investments in some areas.

It is hoped that £21.6m will be gained through efficiency savings, while more than £6m will be shaved from individual department budgets.

The health board plans to spend £23.6m boosting capacity, including an expected £6m-£8m on sending patients for treatment in the private sector.

The Scottish Government has agreed to allow £8m, given to deal with NHS Lothian’s waiting times crisis, to be repaid over three years, rather than one as previously agreed.

Finance boss Susan Goldsmith said: “We are in a good position to manage the risks, but there is a lot going on.”