16 March 2000
Full report: NHS (Wales) Summarised Accounts 1998-99
Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, today reported to Parliament on the worsening financial performance of the NHS in Wales and the rising cost of clinical negligence claims.
"I remain seriously concerned at the worsening deficits being incurred within the NHS in Wales. The NHS Directorate of the National Assembly for Wales must urgently address this by ensuring that robust recovery plans are in place".
Sir John, 16 March 2000
NHS bodies in Wales are required to prepare annual accounts under Section 98 of the National Health Service Act 1977 as extended. The accounts are audited by auditors appointed by the Audit Commission for England and Wales. For 1998-99, the Secretary of State was required to prepare Summarised Accounts from these individual accounts, which were then subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. From 1999-2000, responsibility for preparing the accounts passes to the National Assembly for Wales and Sir John Bourn, as the Auditor General for Wales, will report the results of his audit to the Assembly.
There are five Summarised Accounts:
Clinical Negligence is a breach of duty of care, which is admitted as such by the employer or is determined as such by the legal process, by members of the health care professions acting in their professional capacity on relevant work. The £214 million quoted total cost comprises provision charges of £98 million and £116 million of contingent liabilities.
Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website at http://www.nao.org.uk/ Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office on 0845 702 3474.
The Comptroller and Auditor General, Sir John Bourn, is the head of the National Audit Office employing some 750 staff. He and the NAO are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources.
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