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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Health Board funding

It was the line "NHS Western Isles got £57.7million (up 3%)" that caught my eye.

It just didn't seem right, so I looked back at the actual announcement for 2009/10, and for 2010/11 just to check the facts.

2009/102010/112011/12
Revenue £56.6£58.1£57.7
Capital£1.9£2.55£0.4
Total£58.5£60.65£58.1

Which by my arithmetic is a decrease of 4.1% in the current year, before inflation.

Perhaps someone could enlighten me on any mistakes I have made in reading the official figures.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This seems like a case for SG: Special Investigations Dept.

Will the Gazette as the MSP why the Minister is lying and the allocation has dropped? or

Will the Gazette publish the press release along with positive comment by Tintin?

Anonymous said...

Very straightforward, angus. Just gives you an insight into the Health Board's accounting practices. (And numerous other practices as well, I suspect.)

Tony Giles said...

There's lies, damn lies and accounts.

If you look at page 120 of http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/331661/0107923.pdf this says the budget for 2010/11 was £56.5m, not £58.1 as quoted which means that £57.7m is a 2.7% increase.

One thing to note is that some of the figures that you're quoting are revenue allocation and others are budgets, these are two different things.

Anonymous said...

does this call into question the authors accounting skills?

Tony Giles said...

@11:23 It calls into question accountancy and spin in general, how can anyone make sense of what we're being told when one set of figures say it's a 2.7% increase and another set say a 4.1% decrease.

I spent ten/fifteen years being responsible for budgets and I can't make any sense from them - how can anyone who's never had to manage accounts be expected to?

Anonymous said...

Very good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Far be it for me to point out that it's election year and it's not exactly good news for your man in the west to have to explain away a cut in the health board funding. Better to massage the figures then.

Anonymous said...

11:28

I guess that the layman should not really need to make sense of these figures. Setting budgets of this nature is no doubt rather a complicated process and it's best left to those that REALLY understand these things and not presented in overly simplistic terms for everyone to play armchair accountants

However the layman should be more than capable of ascertaining if enough money is been spent by the quality of service received, let the bean counters work on the efficiencies. i.e. just give us a decent quality and accessible health service and I don't really care if you cut the spending.

Eye Creams said...

This blog is all regarding the health board funding. Perhaps someone could enlighten me on any mistakes I have made in reading the official figures.