The Auditor General for Wales has signed off the last of his 10 audit opinions for Health Boards and NHS Trusts in Wales for the 2013-14 financial year.
And, for the first time since NHS re-organisation in 2009-10, he has qualified his opinions on the accounts of 3 Health Boards for breaching their approved spending limits – Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Powys Teaching Health Board.
Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas said:
I have today signed off the last of the 10 NHS accounts for 2013-14 – three of which I have qualified. This is unprecedented in Wales and something which I will be commenting on in much more detail in the autumn when I publish my annual report into NHS finances.
In previous years, NHS bodies who were unable to manage within their allocated resources received additional year-end funding from the Welsh Government. However, this year the health department did not allocate additional funds to cover all of the Health Board overspends.
In addition to his three qualified audit opinions, Huw Vaughan Thomas has again this year also reported on two other Health Boards who only managed to operate within their resource limit because of extra funds given to them by the Welsh Government at year-end. They are Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Cwm Taf University Health Board.
The Auditor General has, in addition, reported on the failures of four Health Boards to obtain approval from the Health Minister for their new integrated three-year plans, as required from 1 April 2014 by the NHS Finance (Wales) Act 2014. They are Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Powys Teaching Health Board.
These issues are also likely to have consequences for the Auditor General’s audit opinion on the summarised accounts of NHS Wales that are prepared by the Welsh Government, when the Auditor General completes his audit work on them next month.