NHS England shares councils’ concerns over STP

Joint statement by Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire councils

NHS England shares councils’ concerns over STP

When the local NHS published the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, it was immediately criticised by both area’s councils.

Now national body NHS England has said that it too shares the councils’ concerns, particularly that the STP does not stack up financially.

In a letter to the STP’s lead Simon Wright, NHS England make a number of comments and states: “Regionally there is little confidence in the STP as the basis for operational planning. This is specifically because it does not address the CCG deficit position”

It goes on to say that the STP would need £271 million of external funding between 2017 and 2021 and that there is a risk that this level of capital borrowing will not be available, while the STP highlights that a further £40 million is required making the total £311 million.

Cllr Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin, said: “These latest comments are not surprising given the unrealistic timescales the STP Board is working to set by NHS England. NHS England’s concerns echo those that both councils made, particularly around a financial model that bears little resemblance to reality. I am sure everyone will agrees this is a work in progress and that a considerable amount of further work is needed and this will take some time

“We absolutely agree that local health services need to evolve but what is outlined in the STP is I believe simply not realistic It’s another reason why any proposals for hospitals services must offer the best value option because this will ensure that more can be invested into other parts of health economy and community health services that can do so much to ease pressure on our hospitals and prevent people form needing to go there in the first place.

“Both councils are committed to working with the STP Board to help it develop this further and ensure it fully reflects what we and other partners want to see for health services here.”

Cllr Malcolm Pate, Leader of Shropshire Council said “I recognise that in an attempt to meet unrealistic deadlines to submit the STP, essential steps have been missed out and not enough work and thought has gone into making the STP document stack up.

“It was absolutely right that both councils pointed out obvious flaws both before and after the STP was submitted, whilst at the same time recognising that we have made progress and partnership working is improving.

“The feedback received from the NHS on the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin STP bears out what we said and demonstrates why we stepped up to support our communities and local organisations.”