Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Chief Exec Issues Challenge to FDs

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Chief Exec Issues Challenge to FDs

Article excerpt

The chief executive of the NHS in Wales has called for an end to deficits in the principality's health boards and trusts and challenged finance professionals to exert greater influence and leadership.

Ann Lloyd told delegates at the CIPFA in Wales annual conference in Cardiff on November 17 that the deficits 'make us smack of incompetence'. She was severely critical of the projections compiled by finance staff, suggesting that they were often unduly pessimistic.

'I am getting heartily sick of finance directors and their staff chucking the kitchen sink into their projections. I'm not saying there is no financial challenge out there, but for goodness sake let's have a responsible discussion about the finances rather than some projection that won't stand up to scrutiny.'

Health bodies in Wales, like their English counterparts, have struggled to eliminate historical deficits. In 2005/06 the Welsh NHS had an accumulated deficit of more than £100m. It is currently struggling to cover the increase in salary costs following the introduction of the Agenda for Change pay programme.

Lloyd, who is also director of the Assembly's Health and Social Care Department, said the Welsh NHS had to modernise and become debt-free, but progress was hampered by a tendency to work in silos. …

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