Synopsis of appraisal of Sustainable Transition Plans, (STP’s)


STPs five-year plan? Is the IOW within one of 44 areas identified as the geographical ‘footprints’? , No;

(the smallest area covers a population size of 300,000 and the largest 2.8 million).

A named individual has been chosen to lead the development of each STP.

STP areas identified by wikipedia include the South:

Kent and Medway; Sussex and East Surrey;Frimley Health;Surrey Heartlands;Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; Devon; Somerset;Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire; Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire; Dorset; Hampshire and the Isle of Wight; Gloucestershire; Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West.

Most representatives come from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS trusts and foundation trusts, but a small number of STP leaders come from local government.

Questions for local leaders to consider in their plans, covering three headline areas:

  • developing new models of care;
  • improving health and wellbeing;
  • improving efficiency of services.

Leaders have been asked to identify the key priorities for their local area to meet these challenges and deliver financial balance. While the guidance focuses mainly on NHS services,

STPs must also cover better integration with local authority services.

The original deadline for submitting plans to NHS England and other national bodies was the end of June 2016, but most plans will now be further developed and re-submitted by October.

The plans are likely to be assessed and approved in phases.

STPs represent a shift in the way that the NHS in England plans its services. While the Health and Social Care Act 2012 sought to strengthen the role of competition within the health system, NHS organisations are supposedly now being told to collaborate rather than compete to respond to the challenges facing their local services.

Can we believe that privatisation isn’t the real plan or motive?

This ‘shift’ reflects a growing consensus within the NHS that more integrated models of care are required to meet the changing needs of the population. In practice, this means different parts of the NHS and social care system working together to provide more co-ordinated services to patients – for example, by GPs working more closely with hospital specialists, district nurses and social workers to improve care for people with long-term conditions.

It also shows that the growing financial problems in different parts of the NHS can’t be addressed in isolation. Instead, providers and commissioners are being asked to come together to manage the collective resources available . In uncertain terms, financial targets for NHS services for their local population are to be applied to local areas by NHS England and NHS Improvement. It shows that with the absence of Government funding that has created the present crisis, local authorities, communities, volunteers and private agencies have been asked to step in.

The timescales set by NHS England to write STPs are tight.

Leaders of NHS providers, for instance, find themselves under significant pressure from regulators to improve organisational performance.

The carrot is the opportunity to integrate health and social care services more closely and to provide a platform for improving population health. Whether or not these ambitions can be delivered is yet to be seen. This first depends on what gets written in the plans, and then – more importantly – on whether their aims can actually be delivered in practice.

There are some reasons to be cautious about the kind of benefits that will be delivered. For example, concerns have been raised that leaders have focused their efforts on plans for reconfiguring acute hospital services, despite evidence that major acute reconfigurations rarely save money and can fail to improve quality too (and in some cases even reduce it).

STPs are a new way of planning and providing health services of local populations.

Developing credible plans will require the NHS to work in partnership with social care, public health and other local government services, as well as third sector organisations and the local community. There has been no time for public involvement in the plans so far.

The task of developing a plan may be challenging for some areas; making it happen will be altogether more difficult. It is said that performance management in the NHS will be brought in.

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