THE health board plan to make £150 million of savings over the next five years to become a “sustainable financial model”.

Chief operating officer for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Paul Bostock explained five years of savings worth £32 million each year will need to be made.

When asked in the annual general meeting held on September 21, what the health board’s plans are to reduce expenditure, executive director of finance Catherine Phillips explained: “We set about looking to where opportunities to improve were.

“We have looked at quality, safety, and outcomes where our workforce is deployed and what products and services we buy and what we get for them.”

When the health board was asked by this paper, “can you say exactly where savings will be made and how they will affect patients in the Vale of Glamorgan?”, the health board listed the following areas where savings could be found, including: time spent in hospital; theatres productivity; medicine management; appropriate use of continuing healthcare; facilities and estates; costs of buying goods and services; workforce sustainability and additional costs caused by Covid.

A spokesperson for the health board said the decisions were in response to first minister Mark Drakeford’s “challenge”.

"Mr Drakeford has set out the significant challenge to the Welsh Government budget,” said the spokesperson.

“While the health service is important, it cannot be protected from the reality that we need to find ways of saving money and living within our allocated budget. 

"Cardiff and Vale Health Board has a statutory obligation to remain within its resource limits.

“However, we were unable to submit a balanced financial plan in 2023/24 and have a planned deficit of £88.4 million.

“Achieving this position will include the delivery of a £32 million savings programme.

“Achieving financial sustainability would require delivering an equivalent savings programme over the next five years.”

Tightening of belts is happening at many health boards in the country, with Gwent’s Aneurin Bevan University Health Board needing to make £32 million worth of savings this financial year to stay within budget.

On the savings, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Due to inflation and economic mismanagement by the UK Government, our budget this year is around £900 million lower in real terms than we expected at the time of the 2021 spending review.

“As a result, we are reviewing budgets across government to protect frontline public services. This  work is ongoing.”

Despite the savings, the health board insisted patient care won't be affected.

“Savings will not come at the expense of patient care and safety and ensuring patients continue to receive safe and effective care is always our paramount priority.”