Sustainability and Transformation Plans: What, why and where next?

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs): what, why and where next

The NHS is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history, with a funding gap of more than £22 billion over the coming years. And the pressure on the social care system is more acute than ever, with many councils raising eligibility thresholds and making cuts to social care budgets.

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Image source: http://www.ippr.org

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) – which are local health and care reform plans, authored jointly by NHS and local government leaders to improve outcomes and drive greater efficiency in their local area – are one of the government’s main responses to this problem. These plans rightly focus on decentralising power within the NHS, investing in leadership and relationships to drive improvements, and on local health and care organisations coming together to overcome the silos created by the 2012 Health and Care Act.

This report looks at the most promising reform solutions that have been identified by STPs, and also sets out the range of challenges that stand in the way of them realising their vision for improved health and efficiency.

Download summary here or full report here

 

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CCG budgets

CCG budgets tightening under rapidly increasing pressures, NHSCC warns

NHS Clinical Commissioners have launched an infographic The shrinking value of the commissioning pound.  It highlights how rising inflation, along with a growing population, means that while on paper the funds allocated to CCGs are going up, in reality the value of the CCG pound is shrinking.  

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Image source: http://www.nhscc.org

How is the NHS performing?

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This  latest quarterly monitoring report from The Kings Fund finds that NHS is now planning to delay or cancel spending in half of local areas this year to meet financial targets. The survey of NHS trust finance directors suggests that NHS finances have improved over the last quarter of 2016/17 but whilst progress has been made in reducing agency spending, the underlying financial position remains a source of concern with many trusts having relied on one-off actions to improve their financial position.

The 2017/18 financial year looks set to be another difficult one for the NHS. While trust finance directors are more optimistic than at this time last year, 43 per cent of them expect to overspend their budget and a similar proportion (46 per cent) are concerned about meeting financial targets. This lack of confidence extends to the commissioning sector, with only one in five CCG finance leads confident they can achieve financial balance this year.

Full report

Press release

NHS finance

The House of Commons Library has published The financial sustainability of the NHS in England.

This briefing provides background on the current funding settlement for the NHS in England, the financial and operational performance of the health service, and measures being taken to ensure its future sustainability, including Sustainability and Transformation Plans. It also provides background on the Department of Health’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2015/16 and ongoing select committee scrutiny of NHS funding.

Financial sustainability of the NHS

The National Audit Office has published Financial sustainability of the NHS.

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Image source: http://www.nao.org.uk

This is the fifth report on the financial sustainability of the NHS produce by the National Audit Office. This report highlights that with more than two-thirds of trusts in deficit in 2015-16 and an increasing number of clinical commissioning groups unable to keep their spending within budget, the financial problems are endemic and this is not sustainable.

Additional link: Kings Fund press release

CCGs warned over withholding payments from mental health providers

NHS England & NHS Improvement | Published online: 8 November 2016

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Image source: NHS Improvement

This document provides technical guidance on how providers and commissioners can link locally agreed quality and outcome measures to payment. It has been developed to support mental health providers and commissioners to implement the new requirements under the 2017-19 local pricing rules. It is aimed at all those professionals in provider and commissioner organisations who need to work together to successfully link quality and outcome measures to payment – this includes clinicians, finance and contracting professionals and senior management.

Read the full guidance here

Improving the oral health of children: cost effective commissioning

Public Health England| Resources to support local authorities investing in the local commissioning of oral health improvement programmes for pre-school children.

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Image source: PHE

Documents

Public Health England’s (PHE) rapid evidence review and ROI tool were commissioned from the York Health Economics Consortium and developed in partnership with PHE.

The ROI tool allows effectiveness data on oral health interventions to be used to estimate the potential economic benefits from each intervention. The tool uses the best available evidence to estimate the reduction in tooth decay as a result of the intervention, the costs of delivering each of the programmes and the cost savings.

Local authorities can use the ROI tool to inform their commissioning decisions, providing an estimate of the return on investment of these programmes using the oral health profile of their local population.

Read the full overview here