- 9 updates
The Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales has admitted that the service will have to find £70m worth of savings if it's to break even at the end of this financial year. David Sissling said the figure which was described as the 'most likely scenario' by the Wales Audit Office last week was 'realistic.'
But he insisted that the local health boards which operate services will break even. He told AMs on the Public Accounts committee that the £70m figure sets out the 'level of pressure' facing the NHS.
£45m surge in demand
Mr Sissling pinned the blame for the difficulty in reigning in spending in the NHS on unforeseen increased demand which he said was costing it £45m. Most of that demand he said stemmed from an unexpected surge in the numbers of older people moving to Wales from England.
He also told the committee that the Welsh NHS has a contingency fund of £50m which could be used to help out those boards which are struggling most with the increased demand.
The Welsh Government has issued this statement in response to the Wales Audit Office report forecasting that the NHS will end the financial year at least £50m in the red.
The warning about the likely level of overspend in the Welsh NHS comes in a report by the Wales Audit Office for the Assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which is carrying out its own inquiry into NHS finances. A spokesperson for the WAO said:
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams says the Wales Audit Office report predicting that the Welsh health service could end the year up to £131m in the red is 'of grave concern.' She added:
Responding to the Wales Audit Office report, the Conservatives' Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar said:
The Welsh NHS could end the financial year £131.4 million in the red, according to the spending watchdog the Wales Audit Office. Its report says the best case scenario would see local health boards ending the financial year £46 million over budget.
The most likely scenario, according to the WAO, is that the combined overspend will be £69.6 million. In a letter to Assembly Members, the Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan-Thomas warns that it'll be a 'major challenge' just to contain the overspending.
Latest ITV News reports
The Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales has admitted that the service faces a £70m overspend but insists it will break even.
The Wales Audit Office warns that a prediction from NHS bodies of an end-of-year deficit of around £70m could be even higher.