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Hywel Dda responsible for 40% of overspend by health boards

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD is responsible for more than 40% of the total overspend by Welsh health boards, it has been revealed.

By the end of this financial year, a total of £163m will have been overspent, according to a BBC Wales analysis.

Of that sum, £69.6m will have been overspent by Hywel Dda.

The huge figure is an increase of 40% from last year, with an overspend of just under £50m.

The total health board deficit figures are:

  • Hywel Dda Health Board (West Wales) – £69.6m
  • Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board (North Wales) – £36m
  • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (South West Wales) – £30m
  • Cardiff and Vale (South Wales) – £26.9m

The amount spent on temporary doctors and nurses at Hywel Dda hospitals, due to ongoing recruitment problems, is largely to blame.

Hywel Dda said in their latest financial report that their savings had been ‘the best so far’ this year, however this had been countered by ‘local cost pressures’.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said that if the health boards were overspending they would not be ‘bailed out’ by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh NHS was also warned that it was facing ‘the most financially challenging period in its history’.

A spokesperson for The Welsh Government said that it was increasing NHS budget above what had been recommended.

They said: “Investment in our NHS is at a record high and Wales already spends considerably more on health and social care per head than in England.

“We are also investing an additional £550m over the next two years, including £100m to help transform the way health and social services are delivered.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, Angela Burns AM, said: “These soaring deficits show a health service in Wales which is teetering on the brink of financial abyss.

“Failures by the Welsh Labour Government to initiate long-term planning measures for health boards and to break the culture of waste and inefficiency have all played their part in the mess our NHS now finds itself in.

“From Hywel Dda to Betsi Cadwaladr – which is in special measures and under direct Welsh Government control – the situation across Wales is getting worse and worse.

“There is a real risk that health boards will soon be forced to cut vital services in order to make savings, and it’s patients and staff who will be left paying the price.

“This once again raises very serious questions for Labour’s Health Secretary who seems to have run out of ideas and has promised not to bail out health boards.

“To avoid any further damage to services and public confidence in them, Vaughan Gething needs to instigate swift root-and-branch reforms of the health service focused on better planning, smarter spending and stronger public health messaging.”

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Stoned Dihewyd driver reached ‘frightening’ speeds of 120mph

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A DRIVER who raced along country roads at speeds of up to 120mph has today received a suspended prison sentence and a driving ban.

Nico Royan, aged 37, admitted dangerous driving, driving with an excessive amount of cannabis in his blood, driving with a tyre without the required degree of tread and possessing a small quantity of cannabis.

Swansea Crown Court heard how shortly before midnight on April 19 Royan overtook an unmarked police car on the A487 near Llanrhystud at 100mph.

The officer began to pursue Royan, who reached 120mph on a narrow, twisting road with high hedges concealing entrances to properties.

After a mile the officer activated blue lights and Royan pulled over.

The court heard the officer could smell cannabis and Royan admitted he had been smoking the drug. Just over 5 grams of the drug were found in a bag in the front passenger footwell.

And an inspection showed the the rear offside tyre was below the legal limit for tread.

During police interviews after his arrest Royan, a sound engineer, accepted that his driving had been dangerous.

His barrister, Ian Ibrahim, said Royan now understood he had been stupid. But he knew the road well and at that time of night there was no other traffic about.

His only motive, said Mr Ibrahim, was that he was in a hurry to get home.

Royan, of The Caravan, Felinfeinog, Dihewyd, was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months, and banned for three years.

He must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work for the community and £480 in costs and a surcharge.

Judge Keith Thomas said the speeds reached by Royan would have been dangerous even on a motorway and, on country roads, were positively frightening.

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£12,000 found in drugs bust to be retained by police

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POLICE have successfully obtained an order allowing them to retain £12,000 in cash seized in a drugs bust in Aberystwyth for six months whilst they investigate.

On October 19 at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court, the CPS, on behalf of Dyfed-Powys Police, said that they had reason to believe that the money they found in a raid at a residential address on St Davids Road, Aberystwyth, is recoverable property – as it was found with a substantial amount of prohibited drugs.

The money had been seized from Sadik Miah – he was not in court for the hearing.

The order was made under section 295(2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

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Police release new CCTV image of murder suspect

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has released a new CCTV image of Steve Baxter, who detectives are keen to speak to in connection with the murder of Simon Clark from Pendine, Carmarthenshire.

The image was captured in Glynneath on Saturday, September 29. He is believed to have traveled to the west Wales area shortly afterwards and is believed to be in the Haverfordwest area.

Baxter, also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.

He is bald, but was last seen wearing a hat and wig, as shown in this image. He may have made other attempts to alter his appearance such as growing facial hair or wearing glasses.

Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “We’re releasing this CCTV image from the latest confirmed sighting of Steve Baxter to give people the most up to date example of how he may be dressed and how he may currently look.

“Time is passing and we really need to speak to Steve Baxter to build a more accurate picture of what happened in Pendine.

“To anyone that may know where he is, please pass this vital information to police.”

The independent charity Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to Steve Baxter being found. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.

If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.

To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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