latest health care news

28.11.16

Public health cuts put Cornwall and Isles of Scilly STP savings at risk

Cornwall Council has warned that savings in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly STP may not be achieved because of cuts to its public health budget.

Caroline Court, the interim director of public health at Cornwall Council, who represents the council on the STP project board, raised the concerns in a report published ahead of a meeting of the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee tomorrow.

In 2015-16, £2m of Cornwall’s public health budget was reallocated to other services, such as prevention within adult social care. The council agreed not to reallocate any other funding until 2019-20, but it still faces a further £4m budget reduction because of cuts to the national government grant.

It has met the cuts so far by scaling down staff in the core and health promotion teams; reducing the value of contracts for drug, alcohol and sexual health services; and cutting the budget for NHS health checks in primary care.

The report warns that the council will need to further prioritise services to meet the funding shortfall, and make savings from important NHS contracts including health visiting, school nursing, sexual health and drug and alcohol services.

In addition, NHS Kernow CCG is in the process of reviewing all its contracts to try to deliver savings.  The report noted that this could have a negative impact on the population’s public health.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly STP has not been published, but the report says that it will contain an “ambitious and well evidenced” prevention plan, with areas including a domestic violence referral plan, improving immunisation uptake, a whole-system strategy to tackle childhood obesity, measures to identify patients engaging in harmful smoking and drinking, and a self-management and self-care programme.

The report notes that £20m will be needed to deliver these plans, but warns: “Overall there is a risk of a cumulative impact of the cuts to prevention leading to greater demand for healthcare and social care and putting some of the STP savings at risk.”

Last week, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) published a review of nine of the STPs which have been published so far. It warned that they lack credibility in explaining how they will achieve their savings and need to introduce more joint working with councils.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, recently warned the Health Select Committee that many of the STPs were “vastly over-ambitious” and were “not going to happen” because they lacked the funding to deliver them.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly STP has already secured external funding for some aspects of its prevention plan, including the Headstart programme for emotional wellbeing in schools, diabetes prevention and fuel poverty.

The council said it would continue to seek external funding, and that more might be made available nationally as the STPs are introduced.

In addition, it recommended seeking to embed some aspects of the prevention programme as ‘business as usual’ in contracts with providers, such as advice on harmful lifestyle behaviours, domestic violence referral, and identification of long term conditions.

(Image c. mousehole_newlyn)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

Terry Viney   26/01/2017 at 14:12

There is a growing concern among widening layers of the public that the ultimate purpose of STPs is to develop a creeping privatisation of our health service by stealth. This article only adds fuel to those fears indicating a slimming down of publicly funded health. A minority of councils outside Cornwall have published their provisional STP plans exposing plans to close hospitals and A and E departments around the country. If Cornwall wants to assuage the fears of privatisation it must now publish its STP plans without further delay as other councils have done.

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

A clear strategy for change is needed for health and social care

A clear strategy for change is needed for health and social care

Nigel Edwards, CEO at the Nuffield Trust, argues that it would be a lost opportunity if the next government does not seek to put both health and social care funding on a more sustainable footing. more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Hoping for cross-organisational change

21/07/2017Hoping for cross-organisational change

Mark Orchard, president of the Healthcare Financial Management Association ... more >
Making community pharmacy integral to STP solutions

21/07/2017Making community pharmacy integral to STP solutions

James Roach discusses his work with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA)... more >

interviews

A new approach to talent management

25/07/2017A new approach to talent management

Martin Hancock, national lead for talent management at NHS Leadership Acade... more >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

Is it right to label antidepressants ‘a prescription for murder’?

26/07/2017Is it right to label antidepressants ‘a prescription for murder’?

As the stigma about mental health decreases and more come forward to be treated for various illnesses, the number of antidepressants that are prescribed to sufferers will be s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

July 2017

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

editor's comment

13/06/2017Tackling the major challenges facing the NHS

As you will have gathered from the front cover, a theme that runs throughout this edition of NHE is about empowering and involving the workforce in order to deliver innovative change across the system.  Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, highlights on page 16 the importance of sustainability and transformation partnerships/plans (STPs) being implemented and delivered with clinical input at their core.  And the Health Foundation’s... read more >