NHS Greater Glasgow has set ambitious targets to deliver big investments in modernising hospitals and services and to drive down further waiting times for patients.
Improving services is expensive. Funding higher quality GP services and higher quality consultant led services is also expensive but we are committed to both.
We're also committed to delivering new hospitals that match the needs of patients and a highly trained and well-equipped NHS workforce.
To fund this modernising agenda NHS Greater Glasgow faces the challenge of identify savings on current spending budgets of £58m over the next two years.
This represents just over 5% of Glasgow's £1.2 billion health budget over a two-year period.
Savings from our current expenditure have to be identified. Measures will include putting staff levels under the microscope and ending, where possible, the costs of expensive agency nurses and doctors.
Support services to hospitals will be examined. The way we administer NHS Greater Glasgow; the structures of management and administration will be examined too… no stone will be left unturned to find more cost effective ways of working to free up monies for a modernising agenda in health care.
On the clinical side - where some current inpatient treatments can be offered as day treatments they will be.
A tough approach to filling vacated posts will be imposed across the whole system. All jobs will be evaluated closely before being filled with particular emphasis on non-clinical posts.
Greater Glasgow NHS Board Chief Executive Tom Divers stressed the amount of money spent on health in Greater Glasgow was not being cut.
"NHS spending will continue to increase year on year as we strive to modernise the way we work and they way our workforce delivers to the people we serve."
What this spending review is about is prioritising where resources are directed. We cannot pay for the growing list of new demands and priorities while at the same time continue to do everything we currently do in the same way we currently do it," he said.
Sir John Arbuthnott, Chairman of the Board, said: "Propping up an out-of-date system is threatening our ability to do new things, so the system has to change. This is a time not just to question the way we currently do things but to change the way we do things and change them rapidly. I intend to ensure that this challenging opportunity to reform is embraced wholeheartedly and effectively to deliver the very best in health care with the resources we have … and to improve the health of the people of Greater Glasgow."
Despite the immediate emphasis on identifying £58m worth of savings from our current spending patterns to invest in other areas of modernisation - our £750 million acute services modernisation programme (the largest single investment in Scotland's NHS history) is a separate funding matter and will be delivered.
By 2007 Glasgow will have three new purposed built hospitals - Stobhill, Victoria, and Beatson. This will complement the recently opened Princess Royal Maternity and modernised Royal Infirmary. Within three more years the entire acute hospital stock will have caught up with significant refurbishment at Gartnavel General and a massive re-development and new build programme at the Southern General.
But first, NHS Greater Glasgow must identify ways of diverting resources for a continuing modernisation agenda that represents major cost pressures including:
So how are these pressures going to be paid for? By identifying things that happen today that are not representing good value to patients and taxpayers alike.
NHS Greater Glasgow is committed to working in close partnership with staff, unions, health council and council and other partner organisations as this ambitious modernising agenda is worked up and delivered during this and future years.
This work on workforce modernisation and service modernisation will continue apace as construction gets underway to deliver the second and final phase of the new purpose built £87m West of Scotland Cancer Centre on the Gartnavel Hospital site.
By the time the new £108m Victoria Hospital and £83m Stobhill Hospital are delivered as operational state-of-the-art modern ACADs, our new style health systems will be ready to take full advantage of them.
Within 10 short years Glasgow will have the most modern purpose designed acute and primary care health system in the United Kingdom.
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