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‘Cycle of end of year bailouts can’t continue’ - Aled Roberts AM

February 19, 2013 8:55 AM

Following the release of the Public Accounts Committee's report into Health Finances, Aled Roberts AM has declared the constant cycle of end of year Health Board bailouts as 'unsustainable'.

The Public Accounts Committee's report into Health Finances, published today (19th), reveals that some Health Boards started the financial year without full plans to meet their statutory duty to break even.

The report reveals that financial forecasting by some Local Health Boards appeared to be unrealistic and over-ambitious, while others had produced savings targets without identifying a realistic strategy to achieve them.

Aled Roberts, Assembly Member for North Wales and member of the Public Accounts Committee commented:

"The financial situation in our NHS is simply unsustainable. At the end of each financial year, the Welsh Labour Government bails out our Health Boards while at the same time absurdly pretending they are doing otherwise. Year on year we see the same old routine, yet still we are not seeing the improvements so clearly needed.

"The Welsh Labour Government needs to ensure robust annual plans are in place, while also exploring opportunities to address the inflexibility of Health Board finances across financial years.

"It is astonishing that some Health Boards revealed that they never even had complete plans to break even in 2012-13. This flies in the face of what the Health Minister has been saying and calls into question how much of a grip she has on her department's finances.

"It can come as no surprise that Health Boards don't break even when they know that at the end of each year the Welsh Labour Government will simply bail them out. At present there is no incentive for Health Boards to do otherwise. This cycle of end of year bail outs can't continue."