A ‘new deal’ given to health boards in Scotland will give them more flexibility, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman says.

The new deal will allow boards to set out finance and improvement plans that break even over three years.

Boards will also be given the option of overspending or underspending by up to 1% of their budgets in any year.

A new start

‘For this new deal to be successful I believe it needs a new start,’ Ms Freeman said.

‘To move forward on that three-year planning cycle, I will not seek to recover NHS territorial boards’ outstanding brokerage.

‘That is the expenditure incurred by territorial boards over the last five years, which has been above their budget.

‘I want all boards to be able to focus their attention on delivering the measures set out in the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan and Financial Framework.

‘And to do so in a safe and appropriate way.

‘Making sure they maintain a strong focus on patient care and the delivery of the services to patients that is safe, effective, person centred – and timely.’