NHS Wales financial pressures

Welsh Govt puts escalation status onto all health boards amid financial concerns

All health boards in Wales have been put under escalation status due to extreme financial pressures from years of austerity and record inflation, according to the Welsh Government.

This comes after health boards were unable to submit financially-balanced medium-term plans, meaning the organisations which were not already subject to some type of intervention have been put under such measures.

There are four levels of intervention which lead to increased support for NHS organisations. In ascending order, they include:

  • Routine arrangements
  • Enhanced monitoring
  • Targeted intervention
  • Special measures
                                                                        Video credit: Canva

Hywel Dda University Health Board will remain at its current status of targeted intervention for finance, as well as enhanced monitoring for performance.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board will also remain in enhanced monitoring for planning and finance.

Swansea Bay University Health Board, however, will be escalated into enhanced monitoring for finances, while staying in the same bracket for quality and performance.

Both Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Powys Teaching University Health Board will be escalated into enhanced monitoring for finance and planning.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be kept under special measures.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board will also remain at their current levels of targeted intervention for performance and enhanced monitoring for finance.

The health board’s maternity and neonatal services have, however, been de-escalated to enhanced monitoring.

Welsh health minister, Eluned Morgan, said: “We do not make these decisions lightly and it reflects the very difficult financial position we are in, as a result of inflation and austerity, and the challenges affecting health boards.”

She continued: “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.”

All NHS trusts and special health authorities will remain at routine arrangements.

Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, Darren Hughes, said: “It’s not new news that the NHS in Wales is looking at a deficit, but we’re in unchartered territory in terms of the scale of the deficits and the challenges that come with that. NHS organisations that have never, or very rarely, been in a deficit position now have unavoidable deficits ranging from £17m to over £40m per organisation.”

He continued: “NHS organisations are being asked to deliver more for less, with budgets almost 5 per cent lower in real terms this financial year. We need to maximise the way we use and spend the resources available and focus on achieving the best outcomes for patients, but this will inevitably impact the way services are delivered.”

Image credit: iStock

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