Health board to submit qualified set of accounts to Welsh Government next week
Rory Sheehan, local democracy reporter
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will submit a qualified set of accounts to the Welsh Government at the end of this month.
An extraordinary meeting of the health board took place this week to discuss its annual accounts ahead of filing them.
Russell Caldicott, recently appointed interim director of finance at the health board, said the accounts that are to be filed by August 31 had “met its three-year duty to break even” and provided a “clean bill of health moving into new financial year”.
But there is a qualification against these accounts, a legacy from the previous financial year.
This relates to the 2021-22 closing balances that received a qualification from the auditor general, and another breach in the accounts where approval was required from Welsh Government for the appointment of a key officer “but that approval was not secured”, Mr Caldicott said.
The auditor general will now provide a report to the Senedd.
Interim chief executive Carol Shillabeer said improvements were factored into the response plan drawn up for the health board after it was placed into special measures earlier this year.
“There are issues relating to governance and practice, some of these are legacy moving into this year”, she said.
“Findings for the improvements to be made are part of the special measures response plan and addresses leadership there.
“We would anticipate sitting here next year in a much better position if we’re able to make those improvements that we intend to. This is not a happy position for any board to find itself in, in terms of a qualified set of accounts.”
Interim Dyfed Edwards sought to assure the public that the current board would be complying with Welsh Government regulations.
He said: “We’ve looked closely at what has gone on with the previous board and some of the actions they took. Some of the actions by some of the people who were members of that board were incorrect and contrary to regulations set out by Welsh Government in terms of payment.
“We have noted that and the assurance we can give the public from this meeting is that will not be happening under this board – I want to make that absolutely clear.
“Going forward that work will help us ensure we get our governance absolutely correct and we meet all the requirements of the Welsh Government and Audit Wales.”
The health board endorsed the accounts for filing with the Welsh Government.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.