RCN congress

Nurses urged to have their say on STPs

It’s not too late for nurses to influence NHS sustainability and transformation plans, congress told.
Sarah Seeley

Its not too late for nurses to influence NHS transformation plans, RCN congress heard.

RCN Suffolk branch member Sarah Seeley tabled a discussion at congress on sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), which aim to bring together health and social care in 44 local areas across England.

She asked delegates if they felt involved in the process.

Behind closed doors

These STPs have been developed behind closed doors some would say secretly so nurses need to knock on those doors, get involved, and ensure care is not compromised, she urged.

Her message was supported by Jeni Watts from Devon branch, who felt that nurses can have an influence on an STP plan and should share and use their local knowledge.

STPs were introduced

It’s not too late for nurses to influence NHS transformation plans, RCN congress heard.


Nurses need to ‘knock on doors and get involved’, Sarah Seeley told congress. Picture: John Houlihan

RCN Suffolk branch member Sarah Seeley tabled a discussion at congress on sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), which aim to bring together health and social care in 44 local areas across England.

She asked delegates if they felt involved in the process.

‘Behind closed doors’

‘These STPs have been developed behind closed doors – some would say secretly – so nurses need to knock on those doors, get involved, and ensure care is not compromised,’ she urged.

Her message was supported by Jeni Watts from Devon branch, who felt that ‘nurses can have an influence on an STP plan’ and should share and use their local knowledge.

STPs were introduced last year and will run until 2021. They are part of the NHS Five Year Forward Plan to improve health and well-being and quality of care, and achieve financial sustainability.

Huge variation

While they only apply to 44 designated areas of England, RCN deputy president Rod Thomson pointed out that several of those regions border Wales and Scotland and, as such, they ‘will be affected because of patient flow’.

He added the allocation of funding for STPs ‘varied hugely’.

Brighton and Hove branch secretary Harriet Dean-Orange said: ‘Sustainability should not be about cuts or austerity. We want to work in an NHS that is resourceful, not wasteful, and that lasts for our patients.’

Liverpool and Knowsley branch chair Mike Travis said he supported the intent of the discussion but added: ‘In reality, nurses were never going to be involved in STP programmes and it is now too late.’


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