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:
This update report shows that NHS bodies have struggled to manage within their current resource limits in the first half of the year. It is likely that there will be a significant deficit by the end of the year. NHS bodies are making progress with their savings plans, but this is clearly not sufficient. Overspends in key areas like pay and medicines suggest NHS bodies are struggling to contain cost pressures.
The NHS in Wales will be facing difficult choices and challenging times and will be giving evidence in PAC.
The Wales Audit Office does not intend to provide any further comment at this time and awaits the outcome from the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry.
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.