NHS Portsmouth City has been placed “in intervention” by its strategic health authority.

South Central SHA has placed the primary care trust in its lowest performance category after it missed targets on 18-week cancer care, accident and emergency attendances and strokes.

The PCT is the only one in the region with the status after NHS Oxfordshire was lifted out of it in March.

A spokesman for NHS Portsmouth City said: “We’re very aware of the significant pressures on the local healthcare system, and in advance of the SHA’s decision had already established board scrutiny sessions. These will identify the issues, challenges and actions needed to secure improvement, both in the short term and further ahead.

“We’re due to report back to the SHA in early July. It’s important to note this period of intervention relates only to certain issues and is not a reflection of the PCT as a whole.”

The PCT must now mount an internal investigation into its failings.

NHS Hampshire and NHS Berkshire East have been cat-egorised as “underperforming” by NHS South Central for the past four months after missing the same targets as Portsmouth.

The local acute trust, Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, also faces difficulties after ending last financial year with a £14.8m deficit, £5.8m worse than planned.

SHAs each have their own ratings for the performance of the trusts in their region.

With the news that they will be wound down by 2012 and the future scope of the Care Quality Commission and Monitor not yet announced, the regulatory landscape is unclear.

HSJ’s conference NHS Governance 2010 is on 16-17 June. For details visit www.emapconferences.co.uk/nhsgovernance