Auditor General finds financial failures among health boards

Four Welsh NHS health boards have ‘failed to meet their financial duty’ according to the Auditor General, Adrian Crompton.

Mr Crompton has described his ‘deep concern’ for namely the beleaguered Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales, which is the only health board in Wales with a growing deficit, comprising nearly half of the Welsh NHS overspend at £41.3million.

As well as Betsi, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Swansea Bay University Health Board, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have been named as failing to meet their legal duty to have an approved three-year plan.

Commenting on the news, Shadow Health Minister, Angela Burns AM, said:

“In every update carrying further bad news for Welsh health boards, we see the same names crop up again and again, so it’s sadly no surprise to see Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda mentioned here.

“A chronic lack of planning and leadership have fuelled the Welsh Government’s inability and unwillingness to fund primary and preventative services. These, if working effectively, could significantly reduce the pressure in areas of high cost, including for example, a reliance at Betsi on agency staff, due to a workforce shortage.

“Vaughan Gething is now at the head of a plethora of problems in the Welsh NHS, and the buck has to stop with him. Today we see that financial turmoil is still the undercurrent of the problems patients encounter, in the form of long waiting times and staff shortages.

“The Health Minister must be open to immediate change, or make way for someone who will.”