THE area's health and social care partnership is forecasting an overspend of £1.6million, having already cost the Wee County taxpayer an extra £0.6m last financial year.

Led by the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board (IJB), the partnership brings together two councils and NHS Forth Valley for a joined up delivery of health and social services.

The partnership, which delivers demand-led services, has been plagued by financial issues in the past year.

Clackmannanshire Council previously refused to bail the organisation out of its 2018-19 deficit, but a report from external auditors at the Accounts Commission revealed the additional payment was delivered in the end.

In a report on annual accounts, the commission said: "Funding the IJB is creating uncertainty about the council's longer-term financial position.

"The council has agreed to make an additional payment of £0.6million to the IJB as its contribution to resolving the IJB's 2018-19 deficit."

The local authority is working with partners to produce a more sustainable budget for the next three years.

The commission added: "The Care Inspectorate produced a joint report with Healthcare Improvement Scotland on the effectiveness of strategic planning in the IJB.

"The report found that the different governance arrangements of the partners has created challenges for the partnership's understanding of financial accountability.

"The report also noted that the IJB functions as three separate financial contributing bodies."

The overspend was branded "significant" by council leader Councillor Ellen Forson when the council's financial performance was debated at the Audit Committee last Thursday, September 26.

Officers explained work is ongoing to produce a three-year recovery plan, which was a priority.

Earlier during the meeting a separate document highlighted how Clackmannanshire Council achieved 87 per cent of its savings programmed for 2018-18, a higher than average figure compared to previous years.

Cllr Clark, who sits on the IJB, said the partnership only achieved around 60 per cent of its savings in the past financial year.