Funding and debts of the NHS: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

1) In what year was it discovered that a funding formula may have rendered NHS at a disadvantage?

2) Which years from and to were NHS at a disadvantage and by how much in each year?

3) What debts were written off in NHS by previous Minister?

4) What debts were written off in NHS by current Minister?


In response to parts 1 and 2, introduced in 2009/10, the NHSScotland Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC) formula was constructed as an objective measure of the relative need for health care services by small area populations, precisely in order to promote equity of access to healthcare across Scotland. The formula sets out ‘target shares’ for informing the distribution of funding to the 14 NHS Territorial Boards. Final shares actually allocated to the Boards are different from the target shares calculated by the formula due to year to year movements in the formula and the need to ensure stability of funding across Scotland. The approach taken by the Scottish Government has been to provide additional targeted investment to those Boards below parity (target share) in order to move all Boards towards parity over a number of years, whilst ensuring that all Boards continue to receive growth in their baseline allocations year-on-year. Currently no Board is further than 0.8% below parity.

In response to parts 3 and 4, four territorial health boards with outstanding brokerage amounting to £150 million were provided with a clean slate in 2018, as announced by Ms Freeman on 4 October 2018.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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