Explaining Sustainability and Transformation Plans
Sustainability and Tranformation Plans, or STPs, are five-year plans covering all areas of NHS spending in England. They are regional. Islington is part of the North Central London region which also includes Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield. STPs are designed to deliver what is known as 'place-based commissioning'. This means that NHS organisations and local authorities will work together to plan services in a more joined up manner. The idea is that this can generate efficiencies and, with five boroughs working together (in the example of North Central London), economies of scale.
These ideas are not necessarily new. The five boroughs already commission some services jointly. And in Islington there are many examples of health and care providers coming together to deliver integrated care (for example, by GPs working more closely with hospital specialists, community services and social services to improve care for people with long-term conditions).
The launch of STPs has not been without controversy. There has been very little public consultation. There are concerns that these plans have been imposed by NHS leadership with little buy in from NHS organisations locally. There are also fears that these plans are simply a means of introducing more cuts to services. See also A lethal combination of secrecy and jargon has overshadowed NHS plans.
The Sustainability and Transformation Plan for North Central London
Clare Henderson, Assistant Director of Primary Care at Islington Clinical Commissioning Group, gave a briefing on the STP at the last meeting of our steering group, which was followed by a question and answer session. A summary of what was said is attached below.