Welsh NHS boss 'very disappointed' three health boards still in red

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Dr Andrew Goodall
Image caption,
NHS Wales chief executive Dr Andrew Goodall said improvements had been expected in three health boards that are in the red

The head of NHS Wales says he's "very disappointed" three health boards are millions of pounds in the red.

Betsi Cadwaladr, Hywel Dda and Swansea Bay are forecasting a combined deficit of £92.3m for 2019/20.

The total deficit for all seven Welsh health boards is a small improvement on last year.

But NHS Wales chief executive Andrew Goodall told AMs he had expected improvements from the three health boards in deficit.

Betsi Cadwaladr, in north Wales, is forecast to be £41m in deficit at the end of the financial year next month, a slight improvement on the year before.

For west Wales health board Hywel Dda, the figure is £35m, slightly worse than 2018/19.

And Swansea Bay is due to be £16.3m in the red, a deterioration of £6.4m.

Gwent's Aneurin Bevan board, Cwm Taf in the valleys and Bridgend, and Powys, are all due to break even, as they did in 2018/19.

Cardiff and Vale is too, after wiping out a £9.9m deficit from the previous year.

Image caption,
Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in North Wales is forecast to be £41m in deficit at the end of the financial year

Alan Brace, Welsh Government director of finance, said Cardiff and Vale had benefitted from a "much more stable" performance in unscheduled care and planned care.

He said they had learned from a project with the Canterbury region of New Zealand, and had focused on prevention.

Mr Goodall told the assembly's public accounts committee: "Eight out of eleven of our organisations will break even and seven out of eleven organisations have approved plans.

"Having said that though I am disappointed in the three organisations that have still not been able to overcome their deficit.

"We would have expected improvements certainly in all of those three this year."

According to the Wales Audit Office, the budget for NHS Wales increased between 2018/19 and 2019/20 from £7.3 billion to £7.9 billion.