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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 13:27 GMT
Health board to rein in spending
Western Isles Hospital
Various measures will be introduced across isles' health services
Tight financial constraints are to be introduced by Western Isles Health Board in a bid to balance its books.

The board, which had a 2.4m overspend last year, has been aiming to break even this year and address its deficit in the next fiscal year.

However, a new finance report has shown that so far this year it has overspent by almost 700,000.

To curtail spiralling costs there will be a freeze on vacancies and restrictions on who can place orders.

The number of staff allowed to do this will be cut from 52 to just six.

There will also be an embargo on mainland travel without specific permission.

In the summer, Health Minister Andy Kerr installed a new interim chairman and sent a support team to the isles to try to resolve the island health authority's financial problems.

He also sought to restore staff confidence in senior management.

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