Betsi Cadwaladr staff named in finance report offered support

Date:

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The health board manages NHS care, services and facilities including Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwyendd

  • Author, Chris Dearden
  • Role, BBC Wales News
At a glance

  • A confidential report found systemic failings in finance department at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • “High profile nature” of the report has led to an impact on staff, says separate document
  • North Wales Police is still considering whether it needs to investigate after NHS Counter Fraud Unit concluded no further action should be taken

NHS finance staff named in a critical report are being offered “one to one support”, according to officials.

A confidential document produced by accountancy firm EY found there were systemic failings in the finance department at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which manages NHS services in north Wales.

Officials will hear that the “high-profile nature” of the report has led to an impact on staff.

The meeting will also be told that managers have sought legal advice after the report was leaked.

The report, which was first published in March, found evidence that some finance officials deliberately made incorrect entries into their own accounts.

An investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Unit concluded that no further action should be taken.

But North Wales Police is still considering whether it needs to investigate.

The EY report was originally intended to be confidential, but copies were leaked to media and Senedd politicians in May.

It included the names of numerous NHS staff, including those who raised concerns about the way transactions were being recorded in the accounts.

“The previous and current interim executive director of finance have and are working closely with the finance team to provide as much support as possible during a challenging period and the health board has taken legal advice in relation to the leaking of the EY report.

“This has included one-to-one support package on a case-by-case basis offered to members of staff who are potentially named in the EY report.”

To help tackle problems, two interim directors of finance have been appointed, one of them seconded from the Welsh government for 12 months.

In a separate report, interim finance director Steve Webster said the board’s initial financial plan was to deliver a deficit of £134.1m for 2023-2024 and, by the end of May, the deficit was £26.3m, almost £4m more than planned.

To meet the board’s plan for the current year, £25.2m must be found but the figure to date is way below the target.

“Being two months into the financial year this, and the lack of developed schemes to address the shortfall, is a concern,” said Mr Webster.

“Detailed actions have been assigned and are being tracked. Executive support is needed to ensure that progress is made in an accelerated timescale.”

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