The head of NHS Ayrshire and Arran has delivered a blunt message that there is ‘no credible plan’ to meet the additional £26m cuts it needs to make.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran health board faces a deficit of £53.5 million in 2024/25 despite agreeing unprecedented cuts of more than £24m.

The financial crisis saw a starting deficit of £77.6m as the board carried forward a deficit of £44m from the previous year, with no uplift in funding, an extra £18m in new cost pressures and a projected £10m overspend on new medicines, and £3.72m on servicing unfunded beds.

In the past the Scottish Government has provided brokerage, a loan that would be repayable once the health board was on an even footing financially. The board has accrued brokerage of around £78m over the last three financial years, receiving £38.4m in 2023/24.

However, this year the Scottish Government has capped the amount they are willing to give boards who have already received support – in Ayrshire and Arran’s case a maximum of £27.7m

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