NHS Wales Finances Data Tool – up to March 2021
The Auditor General for Wales published an updated version of the data tool in June 2021. It was noted that funding for health services in Wales rose by £1.7 billion, much of it to cover the costs of COVID-19. Once inflation is factored in, that translated to a 12.8% increase in real terms and equates to funding of £2,620 for every person in Wales for 2020-21.
Despite the higher funding there remains an overspend across NHS Wales. Four health boards failed to meet their duty to break even over a three-year period. However, there is positive progress, the total in-year deficit fell from £89 million in 2019-20 to £48 million this year, and the three-year cumulative over-spend across the NHS reduced from £352 million to £233 million.
Two of the four bodies failing to meet their financial duty to break even over three years – Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) and Swansea Bay UHB – also failed to break-even in year. Whilst Hywel Dda UHB continues to show an improving trend in its financial position, the finances of Swansea Bay UHB have again deteriorated.
The other two bodies failing to meet their financial duty to break even over three years - Cardiff and Vale UHB, and Betsi Cadwaladr UHB – have both made significant financial progress, breaking-even in year.
The Auditor General qualified his audit opinion on the regularity of these four bodies’ 2020-21 expenditure as failing this duty means they have all exceeded their authority to spend.
The Public Accounts & Public Administration Committee will consider this updated version of the data tool in Autumn 2021.
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First published: 05/08/2021