Over £16 Billion Investment In Health

Record funding to support NHS Scotland through the most challenging period in its history has been delivered in the 2021-22 Scottish Budget. 

The Health portfolio will receive more than £16 billion, an increase of 5.3% on 2020-21 spending, with a further £869 million for tackling Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Funding for frontline NHS boards has increased to £11.6 billion, building on a record level of health spending and ensuring frontline services can respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic.

The 2021-22 Scottish Budget also includes:

  • £550 million capital funding for NHS Scotland, including funding for the construction of new Elective Care Centres and the Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre in Aberdeen
  • £883 million to invest in social care and integration, including funding for local authorities to deliver the Living Wage, implementation of the Carers Act and uprating of free personal care
  • £139 million investment in mental health services, supporting overall mental health spending of more than £1.1 billion
  • £145.3 million for alcohol and drugs services, including £50 million for our national mission to reduce drugs deaths.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

The past year has reminded us more than ever of the vital importance of our NHS, and this Budget recognises the critical role it has played during the pandemic with every penny of additional health resource consequentials having been passed on in full to support frontline spending.
“The Scottish Government has allocated an additional £869 million to ensure frontline services receive the support required to respond to COVID-19, alongside investment in public health infrastructure to deliver our testing and vaccinations programmes.
“We are also investing more to support carers – including social care staff or those looking after vulnerable family members. They have responded heroically to the challenges of the pandemic and this budget builds on the support we have already given the sector – including investment from the Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan – with £883 million to support social care and integration and funding for local authorities to support local needs.
“We know that the lockdown restrictions, although vital for stopping the spread of the virus, have themselves had a negative impact on many people’s health and wellbeing, with more people experiencing financial insecurity alongside social isolation and the anxiety of living through a pandemic. As such, mental health support has been an absolute priority, and this Budget supports overall mental health spending of more than £1.1 billion.
“While our national health service remains on an emergency footing we will work with our health boards over the course of the next year and beyond to remobilise and reform services. We will also continue to provide investment for direct interventions to address health inequalities, exacerbated by COVID-19, to create a Scotland where we can all live longer, healthier lives.”


The 2021-22 Scottish Budget is available online.

Frontline NHS boards comprise the 14 territorial boards, NHS 24, Scottish Ambulance Service, National Waiting Times Centre and State Hospital.

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