Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)
The growing health and social care needs of our population can only be met using the funding available if the NHS and social care services work together.
To reflect this health and care organisations across England now work as part of sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) areas. The STP for our area covers Hertfordshire and West Essex.
NHS services, including clinical commissioning groups, and local councils across the area are looking at how local services across the STP area will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years to deliver better health, better patient care and make health and care services affordable for years to come - the vision set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
The Hertfordshire and West Essex STP has produced a plan called A Healthier Future. This sets out the challenges and opportunities facing NHS and care services locally and outlines actions agreed by the partnership linked to the four key challenges.
- Living well and preventing ill-health
- Transforming primary and community services
- Improving urgent and hospital services
- Providing health and care more efficiently and effectively
To find out more about the STP and current work and read the A Healthier Future plan go to www.healthierfuture.org.uk
Notice: Following publication of the Health and Care Bill 2021, and subject to this Bill receiving Royal Assent – NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups will be dissolved with their duties and functions transferring to Integrated Care Boards on 1st April 2022. At present the shadow entity for the Integrated Care Board is the Herts and West Essex Integrated Care System. However, the final name for this new entity is to be confirmed once formally assigned.
The Health and Care Bill was introduced to Parliament in early July by the new Secretary of State for Health and Care, Sajid Javid. The Bill follows on closely from the publication of the Integrated Care System design framework, which reinforced the importance of public and voluntary sector health and care organisations working together to improve health and wellbeing for all.
The Health and Care Bill builds on the proposals for legislative change set out by NHS England and NHS Improvement in its Long Term Plan, while also incorporating valuable lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bill’s introduction to Parliament follows extensive discussions with NHS England, the Local Government Association and the health and care sector.
The Bill introduces an Integrated Care Board, as well as a wider Integrated Care Partnership that each Integrated Care Board and its partner local authorities will be required to establish. The Integrated Care Partnerships will bring together local NHS organisations and local government - including social care, mental health services, housing providers and public health expertise - to deliver joined-up care for their local populations. Clinicians, carers and public health experts will be empowered to operate collaboratively across health and care to tackle health inequalities. The Bill also includes measures to tackle obesity and improve oral health. The Bill aims to help reduce unnecessary bureaucracy so that health and care staff can focus more on patients, and ensure the system is able to flex to changing needs in the years to come.
All Clinical Commissioning Group staff below Board level, and all functions of the CCGs will transfer to the ICS, along with many other duties and accountabilities. There will also be a transfer of several NHS England and NHS Improvement direct commissioning functions, which is currently being explored. Work is taking place across our system to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Clinical leadership of the STP
The GP chair of Herts Valleys CCG board, Dr Nicolas Small provides clinical leadership of the STP, working with other GP chairs of East and North Hertfordshire and West Essex CCGs.
They provide clinical leadership across the system, working with clinicians in hospitals, community health services, mental health, public health and primary care to make sure that health and social care professionals understand and support what the STP is doing. They will also share good practice and address variations in clinical practice and performance. For example, there are differences across the STP area in ambulance call out rates, prescribing patterns in general practice, unscheduled admissions to hospitals and cancer care outcomes. By looking at these differences we can look at ways of improving areas where performance is poorer.
A representative from our patient and public involvement committee has an input into these clinical discussions to make sure that the patient voice is heard.
The STP has started to deliver improvements for patients:
- Extra funding for cancer care. The STP has secured more than £200,000 from the East of England cancer alliance to speed up diagnosis treatment for people with suspected lung and prostate cancer, helping people to live longer.
- Making the money for medicines go further. CCG pharmacists have been working together to identify where savings can be made in the cost of medicines. So far the project has identified 23 drugs where there are cheaper, unbranded versions or ‘biosimilars’ which work in the same way as the more expensive versions.
- Creating a single care plan. Health and social care experts and patient representatives are developing a single care plan for frail patients, replacing the multiple plans used by different organisations. A single plan will help clinicians work better together and will help patients to have a full picture of their health condition, feel more involved in their treatment and ensure their wishes are clearly recorded and followed.
- Strengthening prevention and early detection. Organisations across the STP are tackling priority areas including weight reduction, smoking cessation, prevention of diabetes, reduction of harm from alcohol and reducing the number of people who have strokes by managing blood pressure.
To keep up with STP developments go to the News section of the A Healthier Future website
Integrated health and care strategy for Hertfordshire and west Essex
The STP has been working together intensively to develop an overarching integrated health and care strategy for Hertfordshire and west Essex, supported by a 10-year financial plan.