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Professionals speak to Healthwatch Harriet about STPs

If you can explain Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) to a 10-year-old, you can explain it to anyone. That’s the thinking behind the latest film from Healthwatch Essex, featuring Healthwatch Harriet, as she puts the tough questions to the key figures charged with making the north-east Essex and Suffolk STP a success.

Watch this short film where 10 year old Harriet talks to local healthcare leaders to find out "What on earth is STP?"

To read more about the joint local health and care plans, visit the West Suffolk CCG website: HERE


17 November 2016
Press release

Publication of sustainability and transformation plan

A bold plan on how all organisations involved in health and social care can work together differently across east and west Suffolk and north east Essex is being published today.

The NHS and social care have developed a large part of the plans based on what people have already shared, and accept that things have to be different to support a dwindling workforce, patients with more long term conditions and boost quality of services.

The plan is known as a sustainability and transformation plan (STP) and involves some 26 organisations in east and west Suffolk and north east Essex, including ambulance, hospitals, community services and social care.

Nick Hulme, who is leading the Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability and Transformation Plan said: “We are changing the way we work across health, social care and all public services so that we can make sure that by 2021 the one million people who live in this area will have healthier, happier lives and are better supported to look after their own wellbeing.

“The ambitious parts of our plans are to replace competition with collaboration, look at improving care and quality at a broader scale, boosting the workforce and doing all of this quickly. If we can work together to do things like raising education levels and improving information to support people to look after themselves that will set families across north east Essex and east and west Suffolk on the road to a better future,” he added.

The challenges facing health and care organisations are set out very clearly in the plan and include:

  • Demand on family doctors. More people than ever before are going to see their family doctors and nurses.  Around 90 per cent of care is given by our family doctors in the NHS – but many are reaching retirement age. Too few new or potential recruits want to come to north east Essex and east and west Suffolk to work. 
  • Record numbers of people living with long term health conditions. People with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis and hypertension, account for around 50% of all GP appointments. The numbers of people with three or more long-term conditions is rising, and we expect there will be 45,000 in north east Essex and east and west Suffolk by 2018.
  • The cost of treatment. In 2016, north east Essex and east and west Suffolk will spend £2.4 billion on health and care. The costs of drugs, treatments and overheads have all gone up, and will do so again. The pressure on finances is also highlighted. If we continue spending money on services as we are, there will be a £248 million overspend in five years’ time.

Cllr Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Suffolk County Council is working collaboratively with the health and social care sector in providing high quality services that are closer to home. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan is an opportunity to design and deliver services in a more integrated way and we are looking forward to working with all of our partners in delivering this.”

Sam Hepplewhite, chief officer, NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said:“We are fully committed to ensuring local people have access to quality health and social care services.  We are all working closely together in order to transform health and social care services and to ensure these are affordable in the future. As we go on we look forward to engaging with all of our stakeholders in this planning process and I am sure there will be many who will have a lot to say and a lot to contribute.”

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This plan outlines how, by working together, health and care organisations aim to tackle the very real issues which have been developing over the years. As a practising GP for the last 20 years, I see more and more people living longer, but with long term health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. Long term health conditions account for around 50% of GP appointments.

“Major changes are needed to reduce illness and deteriorating health, to support communities and deliver care closer to people’s homes.  By keeping people fitter and healthier for longer and improving the quality of care through more effective collaboration we can overcome the challenges we face.”

To read more, please visit the West Suffolk CCG website: HERE


Additional information

Major changes are needed to reduce illness and deteriorating health, to support communities and deliver care closer to people’s homes. 
We want to do more with technology. We want to make sure hospitals and primary care can plan together for the future. And it is in everyone’s interest that we do this using the money we receive from taxpayers via central Government. 

More than 40 separate pieces of public and voluntary sector engagement have already been carried out in recent years to develop strategies for housing, primary care, end of life, maternity, cancer, hospital care and mental health, including learning disabilities. We still need help to develop parts of the plan – and that will happen over the coming years.

The new plan has one central theme at its heart; collaboration, not competition. It focuses on keeping people fitter for longer, improving the quality of health and care and doing so within budget. In it, we set out where we are now and - most importantly - where we need to be. 

The fundamental change this plan proposes is that all services, across physical and mental health and social care, will be working together as they have never done before to create a seamless service for the patient. 

All organisations who are involved are all responsible for making this work. The senior responsible officer is Nick Hulme, who is also chief executive of Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust and Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.

The following organisations are part of this approach:

  • Suffolk and Essex county councils
  • Mid Suffolk, Forest Heath, Tendring, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, Colchester, Ipswich and Babergh district and borough councils
  • North East Essex, Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups
  • Suffolk GP Federation and GP Primary Choice, Essex GP Federation
  • Colchester Hospital, Ipswich Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital
  • Suffolk Community Healthcare and Anglian Community Enterprise
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and North Essex Partnership Trust
  • Healthwatch Suffolk and Healthwatch Essex
  • East of England Ambulance Trust
  • Suffolk and Essex local medical committees

Voluntary and charity organisations make a significant contribution. We also work closely with the area’s hospices, 104 GP practices, eight community hospitals and community health centres, 177 dental practices, 184 pharmacies and 193 optometrists.

*The Sustainability Transformation Plan referred to covers the areas of north east Essex, west Suffolk and east Suffolk. There are three other partnerships in Essex and Suffolk - Norfolk and Waveney; Mid and South Essex; and Hertfordshire and West Essex.
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