THE Welsh Government has raised the escalation level of all seven Welsh health boards amid concerns about the extreme financial challenges they are facing caused by years of UK Government austerity measures and record levels of inflation, with Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in north Wales remaining in special measures.

There are four levels of intervention available, which trigger increased support for NHS organisations from routine arrangements (the lowest intervention level); enhanced monitoring; targeted intervention to special measures (the highest rate of intervention).

Betsi Cadwaladr remains in special measures after being placed there by the Welsh Government in February.

Hywel Dda Health Board will remain in targeted intervention for planning and finance and enhanced monitoring for performance and quality; while Powys Teaching Health Board will move to enhanced monitoring for planning and finance after previously being in routine arrangements.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is disappointing that all health boards have been escalated to enhanced monitoring for planning and finance. We do not make these decisions lightly and it reflects the very difficult financial position we are in and the challenges affecting health boards.

“We are seeing operational pressures, long waiting lists, and an extremely challenging financial position in the NHS – but this is not unique to Wales.

“We will support health boards to improve their financial planning positions, but some difficult decisions will need to be made as we work through this very tough financial challenge.

“In the coming weeks and months, together with the NHS, we will be working with the public to outline where savings need to be made to reduce these significant budget deficits.”