STPs - A Major NHS Change
Huge shifts are taking place in the local NHS and in December 2015, Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) were announced as the future of health and care services in England.
All NHS regions across the country are working together, with local councils, on a five-year ‘sustainability and transformation plan’ designed to respond to the challenges facing local services.
The six main reasons why the NHS needs to change the way it works are:
- All patients should get the best possible care, but the quality and safety of health services varies enormously across the UK.
- The needs and age of our population have changed, so the NHS needs to deliver health services differently.
- The cost of delivering health services is rising much faster than inflation, and there is a national shortage of qualified staff such as GPs, nurses and other specialists.
- The NHS needs to upgrade its buildings and facilities so that they are suitable for delivering high quality 21st century healthcare.
- Patients need services that work together across professional boundaries; this does not happen effectively enough now and means that care can be fragmented.
- There is compelling evidence that if the NHS spends its money differently it can provide services that are both better and more affordable.
Locally, six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), provider trusts and local authorities have formed a ‘Strategic Planning Group’ (SPG) called South West London Collaborative Commissioning (SWLCC) to deliver this work. The group will build on work already taking place in south west London and will look at all aspects of local health services including hospitals, primary care, mental health and community services.
SWLCC has given some thought to what its priorities should be; these include preventative and proactive care and delivering health services differently to help people stay well. You can read the draft plan for south west London on the SWLCC website or watch a short animation explaining how STPs plan to improve healthcare services.
SWLCC is keen to discuss with local people what the immediate areas of focus should be. Should you have any thoughts on the draft plan, especially if you feel that something might be missing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to South West London Strategic Planning Group, c/o SWL Collaborative Commissioning, 120 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1RH by Friday, 20th May.
At one of our public meetings last year, Healthwatch Wandsworth invited staff from SWLCC to come along and tell us all about the STP and what it will mean for those of us that need to use health and social care services in the future. The presentation from that Assembly along with the Q&A are attached for further information.