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44 STPs not ready to roll out, report claims

Academics at London South Bank University have published a critical report about sustainability and transformation plans.
Tom Sandford

Academics have released a damning report about sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) claiming that none of them are ready for implementation.

The London South Bank University (LSBU) report cites many failures including funding shortfalls, a lack of clarity about the STP role and its leadership and a lack of workforce plans among the STPs.

The 44 STPs across England are part of the NHS Five Year Forward View to focus on health and well-being, better care and stronger NHS finance and efficiency up to 2021.

Critcism

STPs have faced criticism with RCN England director Tom Sandford stating that the college has serious concerns over how STPs are being developed, which in many cases is with an unnecessary lack of

Academics have released a damning report about sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) claiming that none of them are ready for implementation.


RCN England director Tom Sandford said that the RCN has serious concerns over
the development of sustainability and transformation plans. Picture: Barney Newman

The London South Bank University (LSBU) report cites many failures including funding shortfalls, a lack of clarity about the STP role and its leadership and a lack of workforce plans among the STPs.

The 44 STPs across England are part of the NHS Five Year Forward View to focus on health and well-being, better care and stronger NHS finance and efficiency up to 2021.

Critcism

STPs have faced criticism with RCN England director Tom Sandford stating that the college has serious concerns over how STPs are being developed, which in many cases is with ‘an unnecessary lack of openness and transparency’. 

Last month, nurses RCN congress nurses expressed their anger at being left out of the STP process.

The LSBU critically reviewed each of the 44 STP plans and the report discusses high levels of nursing vacancies and the impact of Brexit on the NHS workforce.

It highlights the axing of nursing student bursaries and the fact that applications for nursing and midwifery university courses for September 2017 have fallen by at least 23%.

Absence of discussion

‘The absence of any urgent discussion on this – and the potential implications for specific providers in acute care, mental health care, primary care, community health and social care – confirms the lack of sufficiently coherent or concrete approaches to the development of a workforce plan in any of the STPs,’ the report states.

It also reveals that reductions in acute bed numbers and numbers of emergency departments are present in over 50% of published STPs.

Rebecca Malby, professor at LSBU school of health and social care, commissioned the report as a ‘reality check’ on the STP process as a whole.

Professor Malby said: ‘There is an acute need for the evidence base supporting the case for change in each of the 44 STPs in the NHS to be substantiated further before the service commits to launching plans for widespread “transformation”.  

‘STPs also need time to clarify and develop their leadership function – moving from a top down command and control approach to a planning and enabling approach.’

Read the report


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