The British Medical Association (BMA) has written an article about the key issues facing the Sustainability and Transformation Plans. The article states that future governance of the plans is one concern but that NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has pressed ahead with proposals for many of the STP areas to become ‘accountable care systems’ with local leaders in control of how they spend their budget. The article suggests that it is unclear how the plans are to be implemented and that beyond the initial draft presentations outlining the areas of care that STPs wish to transform, there has been little commitment or formal description of how STPs will be delivered. On this point, the BMA has urged NHS leaders to be clear how projects will be taken forward and that they are evidence-based, properly funded and have the interests of patients, not balance sheets, at their heart.
The article concludes that with just five years to implement change, and with questions surrounding governance and legal framework, the next Government, Health Secretary and Mr Stevens will need to set out a defined path for the project by setting clear achievable timescales. The BMA is calling for all proposals within the plans to be realistic and evidence based with a commitment to full consultation with clinicians, patients and the public on any proposed changes as early as possible. The plans also need to be funded properly as NHS England has been explicit that there will be little capital or transformation funding over the coming years.
To read the article from the BMA, please click here.