More than £1.1 billion has been ploughed back into frontline service through efficiency savings in NHSScotland over the last five years.

The latest figures for 2012/13 show that NHS Boards have again exceeded their efficiency targets of three per cent, by saving £270 million which in turn has been reinvested into front line patient care throughout Scotland, including Forth Valley.

Health Secretary Alex Neil outlined how NHS Boards have delivered these efficiencies as they have treated patients quicker than before, delivered safer care, brought levels of MRSA to the lowest on record and seen patient satisfaction continue to rise.

The savings, outlined in the QuEST (Quality and Efficiency Support Team) Annual Report, are made from a range of measures, including reducing bureaucracy and improving practices to free up time for patient care.

Mr Neil also confirmed that the NHS is on target to meet efficiency targets for this year, with savings again set to be directed towards patient care.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson MSP said:

“This news of continued and continuing investment in Scotland’s NHS is welcome The Scottish Government’s priority is to deliver the highest standards of care for the patients today and a more sustainable NHS for patients in the future.

“This report shows us that NHS Boards, including NHS Forth Valley are continuing to find new and innovative ways to save money to reinvest in frontline services – where it is needed most.

“By reinvesting this money the Scottish Government are able to deliver real changes for patients, like investing in our workforce to see Scotland have more qualified nurses per head of population than England.

“While we are striving to become more efficient with taxpayers’ money I am committed to working to protect spending on health, and the latest £12.1 billion resource budget reflects a funding increase in real terms for both 2014-15 and 2015-16.