Health board under further pressure following damning Audit Wales report
Plaid Cymru has renewed calls for the Welsh Government to reorganise the delivery of healthcare across the north of Wales after concerns were raised by Audit Wales about “errors” in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s 2021-22 accounts
Wales Auditor General said that “significant areas of expenditure may not be accurate” in the under-fire health board’s most recent accounts, which also confirmed it had again failed to meet its financial duty to break-even over a three-year period.
The accounts, published on 26 August 2022, also showed insufficient audit evidence to demonstrate the existence of £72 million of expenses incurred but not paid during the financial year, and insufficient evidence to confirm that expenditure of £122 million occurred in the year or was properly accounted for in the correct accounting period.
Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for Wales said: “The errors the audit has identified are concerning and I have made recommendations to the board for improvement, which my team will follow up next year.”
Questions regarding the accounts are the latest in a serious of issues surrounding the performance of the health board, which operated under special measurers for five years until November 2020 due to financial difficulties, long waiting lists and a damning report into the boards Tawel Fan mental health unit.
Earlier this month, Chair and Chief Officer of the North Wales Community Health Council wrote to the Welsh Government calling for “urgent action… to secure the safe healthcare that people in north Wales expect and deserve”.
Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The Auditor’s report again highlights what has become more and more glaringly obvious, that this has become unmanageable as a health board.
“In this case it’s failings in financial reporting, but week after week we hear how Betsi’s problems are directly affecting patients.
“For the sake of patients and staff, Welsh Government has to look for a Plan B – a new structure for delivering healthcare in the north of Wales.”
Concerns have regularly been raised by both Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd regarding the Health Board’s performance and earlier this month the latest in a long line of critical reports into Vascular Services was published which highlighted problems “in relation to the management of aortic patients” following the completion of a review of patients’ notes.
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