Endowment fund cash promise from NHS Forth Valley

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Health officials in Forth Valley have given assurances that they have been following strict rules on the use of endowment funds.

It follows the revelations at NHS Tayside and NHS Highlands, where health boards used money from this source for routine services.

Richard Leonard

Richard Leonard

Richard Leonard, Central Scotland MSP and Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, wrote to Forth Valley chief executive Cathie Cowan asking for an assurance that this practice has not happened.

The MSP said: “When an individual, group or charity, makes a donation to the endowment fund, they do so in the expectation that it will be used for the benefit of patients and staff, not to close the gap in funding shortfalls.

“It’s of utmost importance that there is openness and transparency when it comes to the use of charitable money.

“People need assurance that donations made to the NHS for specific purposes are used for that purpose – not to fund general services that should be funded from general taxation. I want the Board of NHS Forth Valley to give an assurance that this practice has not happened here.”

A spokesperson for the health board said: “NHS Forth Valley follows strict national regulations to ensure that endowment funds are used appropriately to enhance the experience of patients and visitors.

“Endowment funding has never been used to cover the cost of core NHS services, equipment or systems. Money donated for endowment or charitable purposes has always been used for the purposes originally 
intended.”