The Chair of the Senedd’s Public Account Committee, Nick Ramsay MS has responded to a report by the Auditor General for Wales, published on Tuesday 8 September, about the refurbishment of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd which cost over £60 million more than was originally approved.
Following two asbestos-related incidents in 2010, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board applied to the Welsh Government for capital funding to remove the asbestos and refurbish Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital. In 2012, the Welsh Government agreed funding of £110.4 million. The complex process was successfully completed in 2019, only a few months later than planned, but at a cost of £170.8 million, almost 55% more than the original approved budget.
The Audit Wales report - The Refurbishment of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd - is critical that weaknesses in the business case had not been addressed by the Health Board and Welsh Government.
In response to the findings of the report, the Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee Chair, Nick Ramsay MS said:
“This latest Audit Wales report paints an alarming picture of an NHS refurbishment project that has gone massively over budget. I recognise, of course, that the removal of asbestos from a working hospital whilst maintaining the safety of patients, staff and visitors is a complex process. However, an overspend of nearly 55 per cent on what was budgeted as a £110 million project suggests to me that some basic financial project disciplines have broken down.
“The Public Accounts Committee will be seeking assurances from both the Welsh Government and the health board that this is not symptomatic of wider problems in the management of NHS Wales capital projects.”
The Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee is responsible for looking at how the Welsh Government spends its budget to ensure the Welsh public gets the best possible value for money.
The Auditor General for Wales’ report – The Refurbishment of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – is available here