STP Update 4

As you will know from previous updates the health and care economies of both Herefordshire and Worcestershire are working together on developing a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). All 44 STP areas across the country are doing this and it’s an acknowledgment that some of the challenges we face have to be tackled across a wider footprint.

For this update we wanted to clarify how the plans we are developing relate back to NHS England’s Five Year Forward View and the GP Forward View, to update you on some of the early discussions we’re having with patient groups, and the plans for more in depth staff engagement over the coming few months.

In essence the STP is a plan to implement the NHS national strategy as outlined in its Forward View documents. With local circumstances in mind, STPs need to focus on some of the real fundamental issues which influence how services are provided and accessed. These are:

•         How are you going to prevent ill health and moderate demand for health and social care?
•         How are you engaging patients, communities and staff?
•         How will you support, invest in and improve general practice? 
•         How will you implement new care models that address local challenges?
•         How will you achieve and maintain performance against core standards?
•         How will you achieve our 2020 ambitions on key clinical priorities?
•         How will you improve quality and safety?
•         How will you deploy technology to accelerate change? 
•         How will you develop the workforce you need to deliver? 
•         How will you achieve and maintain financial balance?

Clearly these are significant issues to be addressed and there is a real commitment to engage with staff, those who use health and care services, and the wider public to develop more detailed plans. As you will know from previous updates we have clinical and enabling work-streams which will develop new pathways and models which hook back to some of these broader principles.

But in advance of that we will be getting out and in front of our established patient and service user groups and staff across Worcestershire and Herefordshire to begin to hone some of these high level issues into what this could mean for health and care services in our patch. For example we will be asking for feedback about potentially travelling further for some care or treatment, about people taking greater responsibility for their own and their family’s health and wellbeing, about how ‘home’ should be the default setting instead of hospital, and about using digital solutions more when a face to face appointment might not be necessary.

There is also a recognition that the ‘system’ needs to change to better enable some of these issues to be addressed and in some areas we need to change the way care is delivered so these services are sustainable longer term.

We will be planning some staff events and developing opportunities to understand how this could affect how services and teams work or how they’re organised. Details of these will be publicised well in advance.

Finally the next key date in the STP timeframe is the end of June by which point our plan needs to articulate in some detail how we will bridge the gaps we know exist in relation to Care and Quality, Health and Wellbeing and Finance and Efficiency, known as the ‘triple aims’ and which are the driving principles behind STPs nationally. It may be that the end of June deadline is extended to allow more of the work-streams to develop their thinking but we’ll update on that in future briefings

We are also developing some frequently asked question which are a bit more relevant to us, but in the meantime here is a link to NHS England’s FAQs page which provides a bit more information from a national perspective