Wales is losing out on £3m a year in money it is spending to provide healthcare in prisons that isn't being reimbursed by the UK government, an investigation has found. A Cardiff University academic, who carried out the research, found Westminster has not be properly compensating the Welsh NHS for the costs involved.

Prisons in Wales are not devolved meaning they are the responsibility of the UK Government. However because health is devolved the Welsh Government is responsible for providing healthcare for prisons within these institutions.

The UK Government has not increased the amount of money it gives the Welsh NHS to provide healthcare to prisoners for almost 20 years. In this time there has been both an increase in the prison population and huge inflation. This means that Wales has far less money to do a bigger job,.

READ MORE:The excuses, deflections and half-truths that lift the lid on Wales' HS2 scandal

READ MORE: Vaughan Gething declares another £51,000 in donations on top of the £200k he already received

Back in 2004/05 Wales used to get £2.544m a year to support health care in public sector prisons in Wales. But this has not changed in the nearly 20 years since then. This means there is now more than a £3m deficit every year. You can see the break down of the current cost of healthcare in Welsh prisons in this table:

With Wales losing £3m a year from this funding not being increased in line with inflation this will cost £30m over the next decade if not corrected.

Dr Robert Jones of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre said: "Research carried out by the Wales Governance Centre since 2014 has shown that prisoner healthcare in Wales has been underfunded by the UK Government for over decade. Amidst a rise in the number of prisoners held in Wales and the effects of spiralling healthcare costs, the latest data show that the funding deficit facing health boards is now greater than ever.

"By uncovering these data, our research once again underlines the need for the UK Government to increase the total funding transfer to ensure that prisoner healthcare is both properly and fairly funded. A failure to do so will undoubtedly place further budgetary pressures on system which already finds itself drastically underfunded and over-stretched."

The Welsh Government confirmed that it receives a recurrent transfer into the Welsh Block of £2.544m to support prisoner healthcare in public prisons in Wales and that no additional specific funding has been provided to Welsh Government (by the UK Government) for prison healthcare.

WalesOnline repeatedly contacted the Treasury regarding this shortfall in funding but received no reply.

Though significant, the amount that Wales is losing out here is a fraction to what it is missing over the decision to class HS2 as an England and Wales project. This UK Government decision has robbed Cymru of over £4bn. .