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Welsh health boards given funding

3rd May 2012

A political row has erupted in Wales after three of the country’s local health boards received a cash injection of £12m from the Welsh government.

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Aneurin Bevan, Cwm Taf and Powys Teaching LHBs each received additional funding of about £4m to get them to the end of the financial year.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths insisted the three boards had not been bailed out by the government but political opponents accused her of being misleading at a time that LHBs are legally obliged to break even each year.

Mrs Griffiths had initially said the boards had been allowed to take the money from future funding but later said the cash came from a contingency fund held within her department.

It was later clarified that the money will have to be repaid from the LHBs’ allocations this financial year.

The additional money has led to claims that the NHS now had a cash surplus of half a million pounds, a position hailed by Mrs Griffiths as a "remarkable achievement".

But with boards having closed facilities and made staff redundant to meet spending targets, opposition politicians lined up to criticise Mrs Griffiths.

Conservative opposition leader Andrew RT Davies said: “At best the Welsh Labour government’s claims of a 'remarkable achievement' are misleading. At worst they are completely false.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said she was flabbergasted by the claim while Plaid Cymru finance spokesman Ieuan Wyn Jones said: “This is an astounding attempt by the Labour Welsh government to mislead us into thinking that our LHBs have stayed within budget.”

 

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