28/11/2016 - Permalink

Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council challenge the ‘launch’ of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP)

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The Sustainability and Transformation Plan outlines how the NHS plans to transform and deliver financially sustainable health services in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, including hospital and community services.

The local STP has been discussed for several months with health, local government, regulatory bodies and the third sector. The idea has been to collaboratively prepare a credible plan for delivering better services whilst also identifying cost savings. The work sees the UK divided into 44 geographical ‘footprints’; locally we are designated the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin footprint.

Each footprint will have different priorities, with varying geographical, political and social considerations. It is the recognition that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to health and social care is not possible, that makes the STP different.

Every footprint has been asked to provide details of the work undertaken and their future plans, with this information being used by central government to identify best practice and support improvements. These plans have then been developed by the parties involved, and it is the view of the councils that the documents are still very much in development and should be seen as draft versions of the final plans.

Malcolm Pate, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:

“NHS England have instigated a ‘launch’ of the STP, which suggests the plans have been fully worked through and agreed by all parties. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as it is the opinion of both Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council that some elements of the document need developing.”

The main issues leave both councils with a lack of confidence in the financial projections and the reliability of the rationale for future cost reductions.

Furthermore, it is the shared view that significantly more resources should be put into prevention and reconfiguration of community and primary care services, rather than reconfiguration of hospital services.

Neither council has endorsed or been asked to endorse the full STP at this point in time and, siting the issues above, are unlikely to approve the STP in its current form.