Fife’s Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board (IJB) has approved a further £1.5 million spending from its reserves to cover a multi-million overspend two months after setting its current budget. 

The board met last week to discuss the latest financial update which stated “a recovery plan and immediate action is required.” 

The partnership is currently reporting a deficit of £4.751m two months into the financial year. 

Audrey Valente, chief finance officer, highlighted this was largely down to a £4m overspend for GP prescriptions. 

“This is due to the cost of items being significantly higher than the budget,” she said.

Additional energy costs, hospital and long term care were other areas of significant overspend. 

The deficit was partially offset by underspends in community budgets, but approval was sought for an additional £1.5m from reserves for the current year. 

Earlier this year, the IJB approved the earmarking of £10m from reserves in anticipation of delays in delivering savings within the first six months of the financial year. 

However, if delivery delays drag on throughout 2023, more funding will be needed. 

“If we’re unable to reduce our overspend by the end of the year, we’ll be required to further utilise our reserves,” Ms Valente concluded. 

As of June, 67 per cent of IJB budget savings were on track to be, or have already been, delivered this year. 

The remaining 33 per cent require more input from stakeholders “to ensure a fit for purpose service that delivers best value services to the people of Fife.”

“I can give assurance that transformation is being progressed,” Ms Valente said. 

A financial recovery plan will be brought to the next IJB meeting in September.