Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport
The accounts of all 10 NHS Wales organisations for 2015-16 have been audited by the Auditor General for Wales and have been laid before the National Assembly.
This is the 2nd year the accounts have been prepared under the new NHS 3-year financial regime that was introduced under the NHS Finance (Wales) Act 2014 from 1 April, 2014.
During 2015-16, the Welsh Government continued to prioritise funding in the NHS and additional investment totalling over £400m was provided. This included:
- £225m funding provided in the September 2014 Draft Budget following the publication of the Nuffield Trust report A Decade of Austerity in Wales? in June 2014
- £70m additional investment to transform NHS services announced in December 2014
- £15m investment in mental health services announced in March 2015
- £45m to improve performance and £13 million for new treatments announced in September 2015
- £45m additional funding for winter pressures announced in February 2016.
All the accounts in 2015-16 received a clean audit opinion from the Auditor General for Wales, and 8 out of the 10 NHS organisations operated within their budgets in 2015-16.
In terms of the new financial regime, 7 out of 10 organisations have now broken even over the first 2 years of the 3-year financial regime. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board failed to do this in 2014-15 but achieved break even in 2015-16, while Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda University Health Boards have failed to break even in both years.
Additional cash support continues to be provided when required to all boards in deficit to enable them to meet their normal cash commitments, including payroll expenditure and payments to HMRC. This cash assistance is repayable in future financial years when appropriate and improved plans are developed and approved under the act to enable the repayment of deficits.
I look forward to the Auditor General for Wales finalising his audit of the Welsh Government’s overall accounts. I am confident the health and social services budget will break even overall in 2015-16 following the additional investment outlined above and through other appropriate actions that have been taken to find budgetary savings to offset the deficits incurred by the 2 health boards in 2015-16.