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Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships inquiry

30 November 2017

The Health Committee resumes inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Plans (now Partnerships) which was cut short earlier this year by the general election.

The inquiry

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) cover all of England. In each STP area, local NHS organisations and councils have drawn up proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve.

The NHS England document Next Steps on the NHS Forward View, published earlier this year, says

STPs began life as pragmatic vehicles for enabling health and care organisations within an area to chart their own way to keeping people healthier for longer, improving care, reducing health inequalities and managing their money, working jointly on behalf of the people they serve. They are a means to an end, a mechanism for delivering the Forward View and the key national priorities in this Plan. (p.32)

Bearing in mind the role of STPs described in Next Steps, the Committee invites written submissions addressing any or all of the following points:

Terms of Reference

  • How effective have STPs been in joining up health and social care across their footprints, and in engaging parts of the system outside the acute healthcare sector, for example primary care, local authorities, public health, mental health and voluntary sector partners? How effectively are they engaging local communities and their representatives?
  • How reliable are the ratings in the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships Progress Dashboard, and what do they tell us about the state of the plans and the relationships that underpin them?
  • What do the available evidence, and experience so far, tell us about the deliverability of STP plans given the financial and workforce pressures across the NHS and local government? Are the demands being made of STP plans through the NHS Mandate and the NHS Shared Planning Guidance deliverable, and can STPs ensure the fulfillment of the requirements of the NHS Constitution?
  • Looking across all STPs, are there any major areas where the content of the plans needs to be tested for credibility and realism? Are there any major gaps? For example, are proposals in some plans to reduce bed capacity credible?; are the NHS efficiency estimates in STPs robust?; is the workforce available to enable the implementation of STPs?; or is the timescale for the changes proposed in STPs realistic?
  • How will the development of STPs into Accountable Care Systems (ACSs) change the delivery of care in an area?
  • What governance, management and leadership arrangements need to be created to enable STP planning and implementation to be carried out effectively? Are additional, or different, arrangements required for areas which are developing ACSs?
  • What legislative, policy and/or other barriers are there to effective STP and ACS governance and implementation, and what needs to be done by national bodies and national leaders in the NHS to support the implementation of STPs and ACSs?
  • What public engagement will be necessary to enable STPs/ACSs to succeed, and how should that engagement be undertaken?

Closing date for written submission: Friday 19 January 2018.

Send a written submission to the inquiry on Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships

Please note that, whilst examples from individual STPs to illustrate points being made would be very helpful, the Committee, which has a national remit, will not expect to make a judgement about the proposals contained in any particular plan. The Committee's role is to consider the STP process as a whole at a national level.

Submissions should not exceed 4000 words, and should reach the Committee by Friday 19 January 2018. Oral evidence is expected to be taken in February and March 2018.

The focus of oral evidence sessions is likely to be determined by the content of the written submissions. Those sending written submissions should not feel they have to comment on every area mentioned above, but should concentrate on those they feel are most significant to the STP process nationally.

Further information

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