NHS Scotland will receive a revenue funding increase of 2.6 per cent next financial year under the government’s budget, but its capital budget will decrease slightly.

The resource budget will increase from £10.4bn to £10.7bn whilst the capital budget will fall 1.8 per cent from £587m to £578m.

Almost a fifth (£55m) of the total increase in NHS revenue and capital funding has been earmarked to deal with pandemic flu and the vaccine programme.

Over all, Scottish public revenue spending will increase by 2.9 per cent from £25.8bn to £26.5bn. Total capital spending will be cut by 14 per cent from £3.7bn to £3.2bn.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a good deal for NHS Scotland in the face of an overall cut of 500 million pounds by the UK Government and the first real terms reduction in the Scottish budget since devolution.”

“We will not allow cuts imposed upon us lead to cutbacks for Scottish patients. Together with the two percent efficiency savings all boards are required to make which they keep to reinvest in frontline services, this will ensure key priorities are safeguarded.”