Powys Teaching Health Board reveal £12m deficit
Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporter
Health chiefs have revealed that they need to make savings to bring their budget deficit down to £12 million by the end of March.
At a POWYS Teaching Health Board (PTHB) finance board meeting on Wednesday November 29, members listened to details of changes to the 2023/2024 budget.
Major cash injection
This needs be made following a major cash injection of over £460 million by the Welsh Government in October to bolster NHS services nationwide.
The extra funding is needed to deal with the inflationary costs, energy, and the legacy of Covid-19.
As part of the financial stimulus by the Welsh Government PTHB has been given £18.3 million in additional funding – bringing down their projected deficit to £15.2 million.
Initially the health board had been expecting to post a £33.5 million deficit on their £390 million 2023/2024 budget.
In November, the Welsh Government told health boards across the country that that they would still need to find £65 million worth of savings this financial year.
The target for PTHB is to find £3.2 million in savings to bring their total deficit down to £12 million – which is described in as the “target control total.”
Health boards are expected to deliver a break even position over a three year period.
Never before seen scale
PTHB interim chief executive Hayley Thomas said: “This is at a scale the health board has never been asked to achieve before. We wanted to make sure that any decisions we are taking we are minimising and mitigating impact on patients as best we can and try to make sure that staff welfare is a key consideration.”
The £3.2 million in savings PTHB need to find will come from several different sources.
Around £1.6 million will come from Welsh Government reduced expenditure and slippage as well as finding savings on PTHB projects.
A further £800,000 will be found from a VAT rebate and dental contract “under performance.”
This leaves £800,000 described as the savings “stretch” which will come from finding more overspends in Welsh Government funding, reducing agency staff, continuing healthcare, and commissioned services expenditure.
An added problem for PTHB is that cuts in neighbouring health authority budgets could also impact patients from Powys. This is because PTHB commissions many patient services outside the county.
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