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Financial wastage plagues NHS

BMA Cymru Wales says there is still enormous wastage in the Welsh NHS.


The assessment follows a Welsh Assembly committee inquiry into the state of Welsh NHS finances.

In its critical report, the National Assembly’s public accounts committee said it was unconvinced that a new system designed to increase health boards’ financial flexibility had been sufficiently planned.

While Health Finances 2012/13 and Beyond acknowledges that progress has been made, it also says health boards should be provided with more assistance in developing financial plans and that payments totalling £212 from the Welsh government help to ‘reinforce’ poor financial planning.

Committee chair Darren Millar said: ‘We have significant concerns about the controls in place to assist health boards in planning more flexibly, and we want to see more stringent accountability of senior managers and greater transparency regarding financial planning.’

He added: ‘The committee believes that bailing out health boards, most recently to the tune of £200m, simply isn’t sustainable.

‘People need to have faith that their health services are being delivered effectively, within their means and without drastic measures such as surgery cancellations and closing wards to temporarily balance the books.’

Doing more for less

BMA Welsh council chair Phil Banfield said the NHS in Wales was still relatively underfunded per capita.

He said: ‘The BMA still asserts there is enormous wastage from poor HR practice and wasted resources.

‘This is best demonstrated by an over reduction in capacity that has meant the blocking of surgical beds with medical cases leading to examples of surgical teams being unable to operate on routine surgery.’

He said this meant the NHS had to pay extra to meet waiting time targets.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: ‘We thank the committee for [its] work and will read the report with interest.

‘We are encouraged by their opening remarks that much progress has been made.

‘In addition, as the new NHS Finance Wales Bill comes into force in April this year, we know that health boards will be able to deliver better integrated service, workforce and financial planning.’

 Read Health Finances 2012/13 and Beyond