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.
We welcome the Wales Audit Office report on NHS finances, which recognises the NHS is in a better financial position than at the same time last year. The report confirms again the urgent need for reconfiguration of NHS services that are sustainable and deliver better quality services to patients.
Health boards across Wales have been undertaking a great deal of work and taking action to reduce their spending levels. They are currently forecasting to deliver a further £220 million savings this year in addition to the £600 million they delivered over the last two years.
The Welsh Government is very aware of existing and future potential financial pressures on the NHS and is currently undertaking a mid-year review to chart the progress of the health boards' financial position. NHS organisations are making significant progress on delivering savings.
We will continue to work closely with all NHS organisations in monitoring and scrutinising the financial position on a continuous basis, with a view to ensuring that health boards will break even at the year end.
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.