CORONAVIRUS could create a financial black hole of over £20 million in Powys Teaching Health Board’s (PTHB) accounts.

But, they hope the Welsh Government will provide the money to plug the hole.

PTHB board members were told of the predicament at their meeting on Wednesday, July 30.

There, assistant director of finance, Sam Moss, told board members that overall PTHB is £156,000 in the red after the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year.

Ms Moss, said: “As it currently stands at the end of June we were looking at having Covid expenditure linked to revenue of £20.3 million.”

Amongst several cost issues, Ms Moss explained that the planned expenditure was linked to preparations of dealing with a second spike of Covid-19, and if, needed an expansion fo the TTP (Test, Track and Protect) teams to trace people’s contacts for coronavirus.

Ms Moss said: “In mid July we were asked to submit an updated plan to the Welsh Government for the capital requirements for Covid which came to £1.9 million.

“We have not had confirmation that this investment will be coming to us, and there is still some work  to be done on finalising the figure.”

She added that the most significant risk to PTHB would be if, the Welsh Government decide not to given them the necessary £20.3 million required to deal with Covid-19.

Ms Moss, said: “As at the end of June the Welsh Government had given us £0.7 million of the £20.3 million required.

“I am currently reporting a balanced position but predicated on the fact that Welsh Government are going to fund all costs related to Covid-19.”

Ms Moss added that dealing with the pandemic had also disrupted the delivery of a savings plan of £5.6 million.

The board were told that the savings expectation had been reduced to £1.8 million

Board chairman. Professor Vivienne Harpwood, said that the position was “alarming.”

Chief executive, Carol Shillabeer – “It’s been explained very clearly that it’s a significant risk for the health board.”

Mrs Shillabeer said that if winter was better than anticipated the costs of dealing with the pandemic would be lower.

However if the winter is worse, PTHB may need to spend more than the £20.3 million currently predicted

Ms Shillabeer said: “I’m reasonably confident that Welsh Government can support these costs as we have the detail and robust information that sits behind it and we will be able to put together a good case for fuller funding.

“We will come back to this in the autumn.”

The Board noted the report.

The meeting was by remote attendance and then uploaded to YouTube for public viewing availability.