Herefordshire and Worcestershire Collaborate on Sustainability and Transformation Plan

A spokesman for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire NHS region has indicated that institutions in the area will endeavour to engage in a dialogue with the public.

The two counties are currently collaborating on a sustainability plan for NHS services, and have moved to ensure the public that their views will be taken on board as part of this process.

Eventually, a joint Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), in order to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View, with be released by the counties.

Plans are currently being made across the NHS to ensure that the health service delivers in a way that is safe and sustainable for the future.

But there has been concern in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire region that the process of working together could result in the public being excluded from the process.

Yet a spokesman for Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) denied that this would be the case, instead outlining the process for the STP.

“The latest iteration of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) was submitted to NHS England on October 21. We are awaiting feedback to help us refine the plan before we then go on to engage more widely.”

Details were also divulged on a process of consultation with NHS patients.

“We are planning to start a conversation with the public on the themes and ideas in the STP and there will be opportunities, wherever possible, to help shape these as we move forward. Again to reassure people no major or significant changes to how we provide services will be made without full and proper engagement.”

NHS net expenditure (resource plus capital, minus depreciation) has increased from £75.822 billion in 2005/06 to £117.229 billion in 2015/16. Planned expenditure for 2016/17 is £118.829 billion.

In real terms the budget is expected to increase from £117.229 billion in 2015/16 to £120.151 billion by 2019/20.

Health expenditure (medical services, health research, central and other health services) per capita in England has risen from £1,868 in 2010/11 to £2,057 in 2014/15.

The NHS net deficit for the 2015/16 financial year was £1.851 billion (£599m underspend by commissioners and a £2.45 billion deficit for trusts and foundation trusts).

And the most recently published national surveys of investment for mental health found there had been real terms reductions of 1 per cent for working age adults and 3.1 per cent for older people in 2011/12.

Herefordshire has one CCG responsible for buying health care services, and one acute hospital trust.

Worcestershire has three CCGs and one acute hospital trust.

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South London Local Authority Questions NHS STP Policy

A south London local authority has become the third council to release its full sustainability and transformation plan.

And in doing so has criticised NHS England’s directive that the plans should not immediately be published.

In December 2015, the NHS shared planning guidance 16/17 – 20/21 outlined a new approach to help ensure that health and care services are built around the needs of local populations.

And Sutton Council has today published the full 21 October submission for the south west London STP, claiming that by delaying publication of STPs the NHS has provoked concerns about their content and the process around development.

The document outlines plans to cut the number of acute hospitals on the patch from five to four.

Ruth Dombey, leader of Sutton Council and south London partnership health lead, outlined concerns of the council.

“We are concerned that the NHS centrally has not allowed the publication of our STP and that this is raising worries about its content and the process around its development.”

It is believed that NHS England and NHS Improvement officials have told STP leaders not to publish their 21st October submissions until after they have provided feedback.

Sutton Council’s decision to publish follows similar moves from Birmingham City Council and Camden Council.

The latter also raised concerns over transparency.

The south west London STP outlines an intention to reduce the number of acute sites from five to four, because the existing configuration would not allow the system to meet clinical standards.

It has already been reported that the STP is considering an option to run only three acute sites.

However, the final submission comments that three sites will be “unlikely to be deliverable and is likely to have higher capital costs than four sites”.

Every health and care system in England will be required to produce a multi-year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), following new NHS England guidance.

This will outline how local services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years.

It is intended that this will help NHS organisations deliver the Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved NHS efficiency.

The report also adds that a four-site configuration will require more collaboration, including clinical networking, than is currently the case.

The five acute sites in south west London will be located at Mayday Hospital in Croydon; Epsom Hospital; St Helier Hospital, St George’s Hospital, and Kingston Hospital.

Meanwhile, the STP does not indicate which would be closed under a four site plan but it does say that the only “fixed point” would be St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

STPs are supported by six of the national health and care bodies: NHS England, NHS Improvement, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

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