Overtime to go as chiefs wrestle overspend
OVERTIME is being cut as health chiefs tighten their belts after overspending by almost £7.5 million in the space of just four months.
The use of expensive agency and bank staff is also being reduced and efforts are being doubled to find other areas of savings.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, which already has to save £45 million this year just to break even, has described the overspend as a cause for great concern.
By the end of May the figure was £3.98 million. But by the end of July it had risen to £7.468 million, despite board-wide measures to try to contain it.
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There are some positive signs as the £1.5 million overspend for July was a reduction on the figures for the three previous months.
Despite this, ABM chief executive Paul Roberts said: "The overall financial position remains a cause of great concern."
Details of the board's financial position will be explained to members at an ABM meeting on Thursday.
Finance director Eifion Williams said: "The health board experienced high levels of unscheduled care and trauma service pressures during the early months of this financial year, and the acuity of patients was also greater than normally experienced.
"Some aspects of this higher demand have now reduced. The financial impact, however, is proving very difficult to recover."
Mr Williams said the board was continuing to pursue the need to identify savings.
He added: "All directorates and localities have been tasked with redoubling their efforts in delivering improved service performance and identifying further savings opportunities.
"Target reductions in the use of agency and bank staff have been set, alongside reduced levels of overtime.
"Further savings opportunities also need to be identified and implemented in order to deliver a balanced outturn at year end."
ABM has already stated that, while not playing down the overspend, it had to be put into perspective in terms of the board's annual budget of some £1.2 billion.