Welsh NHS facing £380m cutbacks8th September 2010
New figures have revealed that the NHS in Wales is facing the prospect of making £380m in cuts by next April.
Welsh NHS finance managers say it is the biggest challenge they have faced in two decades with savings targeting staff pay and changes to hospital services.
The Welsh Assembly says the cuts are “profoundly important” for Wales amid fears that the outcome of the UK Government's public spending review in October could see services further affected.
Some health boards are already gearing up for major cost reduction with service reconfiguration and vacancy controls planned in an effort to cut wages bills.
The largest health organisation in Wales, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has an annual budget of over £1bn, but faces a savings target of more than £70m in 2010-11.
Vice-chair Dr Lyndon Miles said making the cuts would not be easy but added: “We are looking at lots of areas - we are looking at the way we spend at the moment, for example employing locums and agency staff and the way we recruit.”
The board is planning to make workforce changes and there are moves to close HM Stanley hospital in St Asaph, Denbighshire, with more services being moved into the community.
The Welsh Assembly Government said the challenges were the most important since devolution and that there would be close consultations with front line workers.
A spokesman said: “We will be engaging with communities the length and breadth of Wales to ensure we work together to protect essential public services."
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Title: Welsh NHS facing £380m cutbacks
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 16003
Date Added: 8th Sep 2010