NHS facing its greatest ever financial challenge

Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes responds to the Welsh Government's Draft Budget 2023-24.

13 December 2022

Responding to the Welsh Government’s Draft Budget 2023-24, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes said: 

“NHS leaders acknowledge the current budgetary limitations facing Governments and welcome the uplift to social care workers’ pay by June 2023. 

“The NHS is currently facing its greatest ever financial challenge. Inflation, the elective care backlog, rising energy costs and the ongoing costs of Covid have led to exceptional cost pressures, resulting in the NHS in Wales facing its biggest financial deficit.  

“All sectors must work together to tackle inequalities and the cost-of-living crisis to prevent further harm to the most vulnerable in our society. If we’re going to meet the needs of the population, we need a long-term investment plan and clear priorities for the health and care sector. This must include investment in NHS buildings and infrastructure and a strategic workforce plan.  

“Without longer-term financial clarity, there’s only so far the NHS can go in training, recruiting and developing a workforce that can meet future demand and deliver service transformation – our current situation is severely limited by past under-investment across the whole of the UK. 

“While acknowledging the restrictions Welsh Government face, it’s vital the government and all politicians are open with the public regarding the pressures facing the NHS and social care and what they can expect in the future. We will need political support to radically re-think how services are delivered in the longer term.”