NHS Wales digital technology

Extra digital funding for NHS Wales

The NHS in Wales is set to benefit from new funding to upgrade its digital infrastructure, including IT equipment and scanners.

The Welsh Government says an extra £10m in capital funding will be available, with £5m ringfenced for modern IT infrastructure as well as £1m for new MRI scanners and £1.3m for ultrasound scanning equipment.

The additional investment comes as the government in Wales publishes its second supplementary budget to formalise changes made during 2023/24.

It includes changes announced last autumn to provide further support to the NHS – the Welsh Government delivered additional in-year support of £425m to the health service.

“…much-needed funding to maintain the fabric of our NHS.”

The second supplementary budget also includes some of the extra money given to Wales as a result of the UK Government’s decision to increase spending in devolved areas.

The Welsh Government says, however, that notification of this funding has come too late to spend in this financial year, meaning it will be put aside into the Wales Reserve for 2024/25 and 2025/26.

“The UK Government confirmed the final sums last week, leaving us only one week to allocate additional funds,” says Welsh finance minister, Rebecca Evans. “I’m pleased that we have been able to direct much-needed funding to maintain the fabric of our NHS.”

She continues: “But at a time when public sector budgets have been squeezed so tightly, this is another example of why we need greater borrowing powers to be able to respond quickly to emerging needs.”

The extra capital funding along with the in-year support is welcome, according to Welsh health minister, Eluned Morgan.

“But the NHS is facing the toughest financial pressures in recent history due to inflation and increased demand in both planned and emergency care,” adds Morgan. “Health boards have had to make some very difficult decisions despite the additional injection of funding over and above their allocated budgets.”

The supplementary budget will be debated on 12 March following the final budget for 2024/25 on 27 February.

Image credit: iStock

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