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16.02.17

STPs right way forward but not in current form, warns Reform

STPs have been knocked back once again today as a report released by the think-tank Reform reported that they cannot work in their current form, citing that they “have neither the support nor the executive power that they need to reshape health and social care in England”.

The areas where Reform deemed STPs to be failing were in engaging with local authorities who were currently not being treated as equal partners due to their much smaller budgets meaning that they could not properly address problems in social care. 

Engagement with NHS staff was also an area for improvement, as the report cites that in a survey last Autumn by the BMA of 615 GPs and consultants in London, 59% of them had not even heard of STP plans that were planned to be published at the end of the year.

Reform also pointed to the failure of STPs to provide sufficient provision for mental healthcare.

The review did, however, agree that though STPs are the right way forward, they required heavy reform in order to achieve their aim of saving the NHS £22m a year.

Researcher at Reform Kate Laycock said: “STPs are trying to integrate health and social care so the systems are much more streamlined and easy to navigate – this is the right thing to be doing.

“But having spoken to people we discovered that STPs weren’t going to deliver on this and that’s why we’ve written the paper.”

Laycock stressed the importance of NHS England and NHS Improvement clarifying STP guidelines especially in terms of competition and integration of services.

She added: “People within the STP also need to be working from one budget towards shared outcomes, these can be determined locally.”

The report comes after STPs were dealt a blow this week as the BMA found that current plans would require £10bn of fresh funding to be successful.

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Comments

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John   28/02/2017 at 12:49

The piece states revealingly that "The review did, however, agree that though STPs are the right way forward, they required heavy reform in order to achieve their aim of saving the NHS £22m a year." However, if you read an STP or statements from the unfortunate public servants charged with creating something out of this pig's ear, the aim of the STPs is to improve health by integrating services, with a heavy emphasis on prevention. Of course we all know it's really a device to try to realise the unachievable savings imposed on the NHS, but it's a shame that what could be a positive social policy exercise is blighted by the deceit and hypocrisy that surrounds it.

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