The interim report on the STP process has been published following months of a controversial and often fiesty ‘consultation’ period.
In the executive summary of the new document it says that over 5000 people put their two pennyworth in between November 2016 and February 2017. This included almost 2000 people who completed the survey, over 100 written responses and over 3000 people who attended community or stakeholder events.
Based on community recommendations there was support for:
- An integrated system that brings together health and care provider organisations.
- Preparation of explicit plans for improving mental health services, social care and children and young people’s services.
- An improved NHS 111 and out of hours service, working in concert with the rest of the system.
- Setting out the range of options for service change that utilises the best available clinical evidence and information on quality, access, population growth and transport.
- The development of a communications, engagement and consultation programme about the proposed changes that is co-designed with priority stakeholders.
The report says,
“It is clear from the community and stakeholder feedback that people support these priorities. There was strong support for investing in prevention strategies and empowering people to take more control of their own health and wellbeing. It is evident that local citizens want us to get on with integrating health and social care to improve services, investing more in frontline services by reducing inefficiency.
“The overall support for the Shaping Our Future priorities and approach does not detract from the questions and concerns people raised during the engagement period, which are reflected in some of the recommendations and will be fully considered in the next phase, including a full business case”.
Campaigners are saying that the STP process will be used to disguise a reduction in services, in particular to close most, if not all, of Cornwall’s Community Hospitals – a vital interim service in a rural area, or a outdated waste of money and resources – depending on what side of the fence you are on.
The main concerns or gaps in servile identified by people as part of the first phase of consultation were:
- Potential reduction in community hospitals with concerns about travel times and the impact on the major hospitals without alternatives yet in place
- Financial with people wanting to see more investment in community services and many questioning whether the plans could be delivered within the budget.
- Workforce with people wanting to see more investment in community staff and training.
- Mental health with people wanting to see care and facilities for people with mental health needs, both adults and young people, as a high priority.
- Social care with people wanting to see much more integration between health and social care.
- Children and young people’s services with people expecting more alignment between the ‘One Vision’ work and ‘Shaping Our Future’ programme.
- Infrastructure and population growth with many people saying that the plans did not sufficiently address housing, employment and facilities to meet the needs of a growing population.
NHS managers conclude the report by saying “Overall, it is evident that if you look at the views expressed between November 2016 and February 2017, that there is broad support for the Shaping Our Future priorities and approach. This should not detract from the concerns raised about Sustainability and Transformation Plans, how the financial challenge will be addressed and the potential closure of community hospitals. If you could set aside the strong views held about potential changes to community hospitals, the Shaping Our Future proposals would actually have much broader support. An overwhelmingly majority of people agreed with the priorities set with prevention and integrating community services considered to be the most important. Respondents supported the notion of integrating health and social care budgets with many saying that we should just get on with it”
The report recommends priority actions:
- Establish an integrated care system that brings together health and care provider organisations. This will include a review of administrative functions, enhanced data sharing and as a minimum a single team dedicated to hospital discharge with a central command centre.
- An improved NHS 111 and out of hours service to be operational by early 2018, working in concert with the rest of the system.
- The development of a full business case that sets clear options for service change that utilises community feedback, the best available clinical evidence and transparent information on quality, access, population growth and transport. It should also set out the financial savings and required transformation funding.
- The development of a full business that is explicit on plans for mental health services, social care and children and young people’s services.
- The development of a communications, engagement and consultation programme that is co-designed with priority stakeholders including local Scrutiny Committees, NHS England, Healthwatch, the Citizens’ Advisory Group, Clinical Senate and the local Clinical/Practitioner Cabinet.
NHS managers in Cornwall say they now intend to publish online a monthly Shaping Our Future newsletter which will provide an update on progress.
A second stage of consultation now begins with a final report due out in the summer.
Read the report here:
Watch Penzance revolt at an ‘engagement’ event :
Furthe NHS / STP articles: