Record investment in health and care

Increased funding for frontline NHS boards.

Health and care funding will rise to more than £15 billion for the first time under the 2020-21 Budget.

As part of the overall uplift, the Scottish Government has delivered more than £100 million in excess of Barnett consequentials to support frontline services.

Frontline funding for NHS boards has been increased by £454 million, and is aimed at improving waiting times and patient outcomes.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“The Scottish Budget continues to shift the balance of care towards primary, social and community care and to support our focus on mental health.

“It ensures that we remain on track to deliver more than half of frontline NHS spending in community health services by the end of this Parliament, continuing our twin approach of investment and reform.           

“Our budget will see more than £9.4 billion of investment in health and social care partnerships. It will also increase the Scottish Government’s direct investment in addressing the harm and deaths caused by the misuse of drugs by almost 60% in 2020-21.

“This budget delivers an additional £100 million to the health portfolio, over and above passing on every penny of health resource and capital consequentials in full.

"But all this relies on the UK Government to fulfil all of their health funding promises. It is essential the Chancellor keeps his government’s promises so that funding is not jeopardised for our vital frontline NHS services.”


The 2020-21 Scottish Budget includes:

  • £15.2 billion funding in total for the Health and Sport portfolio
  • more than £9.4 billion invested in health and social partnerships
  • £454 million increase (4.2%) increase to frontline NHS Board funding
  • the uplift includes an additional £17 million in NRAC funding to ensure no Board is further than 0.8% from its target funding allocation
  • more than £200 million investment in the Baird and Anchor Hospital to deliver a new family hospital and care centre in Aberdeen
  • £28 million increase for mental health and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
  • more than £13 million for new radiotherapy equipment to support the Scottish Government’s cancer strategy
  • an additional £12.7 million available to tackle the harm associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol

The Health and Social Care Medium Term Financial Framework sets out the types of initiatives that are required to deliver balanced and sustainable health services. As part of this, NHS Boards are required to deliver a break-even position over a three year period, rather than annually as had previously been the case.

The NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC) formula is a method to ensure the fair and equitable allocation of funds between Boards, taking into account key determinants in the variation of healthcare need in populations.

The Barnett formula is a mechanism used by the Treasury in the United Kingdom to automatically adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to reflect changes in spending levels allocated to public services in England, England and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate. Under the Barnett Formula, the Scottish Government’s block grant in any given financial year is equal to the block grant baseline plus a population share of changes in UK Government spending on areas that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament.


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