Adam Cairns told members of the Assembly's Public Accounts Committee that the board 'had a responsibility to work within the budget' its been given. But he also said he's confident that the board's hospitals can continue to deliver high quality care with fewer beds and staff.
He told the committee that 'nobody wants to stay in hospital longer than necessary' and that enabling patients to leave sooner means fewer beds are needed, allowing resources to be more focussed.
It is important to make clear that Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is not making 400 members of staff redundant.
When we launched our Section 188 consultation back in June we said that, while some 384 people were potentially at risk, we were committed to ensuring that we found alternative ways of reducing our workforce costs, including headcount reduction, and that making staff redundant would be the last resort.
We have been able to identify a range of actions which help us to make the changes we need to, without recourse to redundancies.
These have included redeploying staff into vacancies, redesigning our services, staff leaving through our voluntary early release scheme and deleting some vacant posts, where they are no longer needed.
Some workforce change proposals have not been progressed, as alternative options have been identified as a consequence of consultation.
We are confident that, by the end of the year, only a relatively small number of staff will find themselves in a redundancy position.