A health board which received 15 million pounds in December to help it balance the books has warned that it is unlikely to break even by the end of March.
With just nine weeks to go until the end of the financial year the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has confirmed that it still can’t provide assurances that it will meet its legal obligation to break even by the 31st March.
A document issued by the Health Board entitled ‘Key Issues for Communication’ (January 2013) said:
"The health board has again reported that despite all the current actions being taken to achieve financial balance it could not provide assurance that this would be achieved at year end. This is a matter of serious concern to the board and Welsh Government. Work is continuing to address the financial gap."
Betsi Cadwaladr received an additional 15 million pounds in November, as part of an 82 million pound scheme across Wales to meet 'unprecedented' demand on services. In the same month, a Wales Audit Office report detailed projected deficits in each health board. Betsi Cadwaladr was predicted to finish the year 19 million pounds in the red.
Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:
“This admission is yet further evidence that NHS funding in Wales has become completely unsustainable.
"While the Minister lurches from one messy bailout to another, the problems remain.
“Welsh Labour’s record-breaking NHS cuts are not giving staff the confidence they need to deliver the first class services patients deserve.
“This slash and burn approach is driving unwanted NHS reform across Wales with patients being forced to travel further for emergency treatment and hospitals being downgraded.
“Wales is facing the largest NHS cuts in the UK and patients are paying the price.
"The Welsh Government must look again at its financial priorities to ensure that the NHS gets the investment it needs and the Minister must update Assembly Members on her discussions with Health Boards about their finances as soon as possible.”