AM warns of more fines for troubled North Wales health board

Following news that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will have to pay £1 million back to the Welsh Government for failing to hit waiting list targets, Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has warned that the “situation is only going to get worse unless the current funding dispute with the Countess of Chester Hospital is resolved.”

The North Wales Health Board, which is in special measures, faces action after almost 6,000 patients waited more than eight months for hospital treatment.    

It overspent by £41.3m last year, despite an extra £20m from the Welsh Government to boost performance, and a report has now revealed that the Welsh Government has triggered a claw-back mechanism to retrieve some of the money.

Darren fears the situation will get worse, and the Health Board will face further penalties, following the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust’s decision to stop taking in patients from Wales.   

He said:

“It is appalling that so many people are languishing on unacceptably long waiting lists in North Wales and the situation is only going to get worse unless the current funding dispute with the Countess of Chester Hospital is resolved.

“Failing to pay for Welsh patients to be treated at the hospital is going to end up costing the Health Board more in fines for failing to hit waiting time targets than paying the Countess of Chester the proper rate for providing care and treatment for Welsh patients.”