A Senedd Committee Chair has said that “basic financial project disciplines” had “ broken down” in the case of a hospital refurbishment that went £60m over budget.
Nick Ramsay was responding to a record by the Auditor General of Wales, published today, about work to refurbish Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area.
In 2012, the Welsh Government agreed funding of £110.4 million to remove asbestos and reburbish the hospital. The process eventually cost £170.8 million, almost 55% more than the original approved budget.
“This latest Audit Wales report paints an alarming picture of an NHS refurbishment project that has gone massively over budget,” Nick Ramsay, the Chair of the Senedd’s Public Account Committee, said.
“I recognise, of course, that the removal of asbestos from a working hospital whilst maintaining the safety of patients, staff and visitors is a complex process. However, an overspend of nearly 55 per cent on what was budgeted as a £110 million project suggests to me that some basic financial project disciplines have broken down.
“The Public Accounts Committee will be seeking assurances from both the Welsh Government and the health board that this is not symptomatic of wider problems in the management of NHS Wales capital projects.”
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board applied to the Welsh Government for capital funding following two asbestos-related incidents in 2010.
The Audit Wales report – The Refurbishment of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – is critical that weaknesses in the business case had not been addressed by the Health Board and Welsh Government.
The Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee is responsible for looking at how the Welsh Government spends its budget to ensure the Welsh public gets the best possible value for money.
The Auditor General for Wales’ report – The Refurbishment of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – is available here.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was placed in special measures by the Welsh Government in June 2015.
It is the largest health organisation in Wales, providing hospital services for a population of around 694,000 people in north and mid-Wales.