NHS Borders is set to have a 'new start' as its £10 million debt is written off by the Scottish Government.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman has announced that health boards across Scotland will have their slates wiped clean from next year.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament last week she confirmed that the Scottish Government would not seek to recoup brokerage paid to health boards in the past five years.

The debt is being cancelled as part of health and social care reforms which will see NHS boards required to deliver a break-even position over a three-year period rather than annually, as is currently the case.

Ms Freeman said: “For the new deal to be successful, it needs a new start.

“In order to give all our territorial boards clear ground to move forward on the three-year planning cycle, I will not seek to recover their outstanding brokerage – that is, the expenditure that they have incurred over the past five years that has been above their budget.”

The announcement follows the UK Government’s pledge of a financial boost of £20 billion per year for health boards south of the border, with NHS Scotland due to receive an extra £2 billion per year.

Rachael Hamilton (Cons) MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh & Berwickshire said: “Thanks to the pooling and sharing of resources in the United Kingdom, we see this additional funding coming to Scotland.

“The chronic underfunding of health boards from the Scottish Government has resulted in debt piling up, and I am glad that this can now be resolved.”

Fellow Tory, Borders MP John Lamont, said: “This is welcome news, which would not be possible without the UK Government and the Barnett Formula, which the SNP was to scrap.

“However, the fact that NHS Borders ran up a debt shows that it was underfunded by the Scottish Government for too long.

“Thanks to extra spending by the UK Government, the SNP will soon have £2 billion more to spend on healthcare. The Scottish Government need to recognise that rural health boards are struggling with things like recruitment and make sure they receive the funding they require.”

But MSP Christine Grahame (SNP, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) said: “That £20 billion is just an announcement by a beleaguered Theresa May desperate to speak about anything but the Brexit bourach – is this another slogan for the side of a bus?

“If it does happen, and it's a big if, of course NHS Borders will receive its fair share.”

A spokesperson from NHS Borders said: “We were anticipating an overspend, and hence brokerage, of somewhere in the region of £10 million this year and so the new medium term financial framework is welcome.

“We expect to have a financial shortfall in the coming years, but this will depend on what funding uplift is made available to us and this is still to be determined across Scotland.”