The future of commissioning

NHS Providers has launched a new publication series “Provider Voices” which promotes the views of leaders from a range of trusts and other parts of the service on some of the key issues facing the NHS.

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The first report Where next for commissioning? includes eight interviews that address concerns including the role of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and accountable care systems (ACSs), the challenge of integrating health and care commissioning, and the future of the purchaser-provider split.

Related:

 

Saving Sustainability and Transformation Plans

Saving STPs: achieving meaningful health and social care reform | Reform

Current ambitions for NHS reform rest on Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). These aim to bring local leaders together to create cohesive systems of care that are proactive, not reactive, with a focus on prevention and care being delivered in the community rather than in hospitals. They also aim for health and social care systems to properly exploit technology. All this will save time and money and deliver better quality care.

In their current form, however, STPs are not going to work. This paper identifies the three key barriers to success and sets out the five changes that need to be made if the plans are to succeed.

Recommendations:

  • STPs should design their own local health outcomes for which every organisation in the STP is accountable.
  • STPs should take a ‘one-system, one-budget’ approach. NHS, social care and public health budgets should be merged across the STP and commissioned by a single body.
  • Commissioners need to regularly evaluate whether providers are delivering on outcomes. Where these are consistently not delivered, services should be decommissioned and broken up to allow smaller providers to bid. Contracts should come up for renewal at regular intervals.
  • NHS Improvement should publish guidance clarifying how current legislation surrounding competition applies in the context of STPs.
  • STP footprints should have elected leaders who are held to account by the public.

Full report available here

The Sustainability And Transformation Plans: A Critical Assessment

This report assesses the published drafts for STP plans and it raises concerns around the credibility of the implementation measures outlined in the plans | Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI)

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Image source: CHPI

Many members of the public, and even some politicians, are only just becoming aware of Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which were imposed in a policy directive from NHS England just 3 days before Christmas in 2015 as part of a major shake-up of the NHS. 1 The dramatic reorganisation of England’s NHS into 44 ‘footprint’ areas, and the requirement for all NHS bodies to collaborate with local government social service agencies on these new 5-year plans, seemed like NHS England’s best hope of balancing its budgets by 2020-21. But the variegated and inconsistent series of 44 documents that have been published since the end of October have clearly fallen far short of NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens’ hopes a year ago.

Read the full report here

Transformation fund call to bid

To support the implementation of the Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved NHS efficiency, NHS England has created a transformation fund | NHS England

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The interventions for which transformation funding are available are:

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are central to this process and all bids should be explicitly linked to the relevant local STP plans. This process is open to any STP, although individual organisations or alliances may bid on behalf of an STP for this funding; submission of applications must be via STPs.

Read the full overview here

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.

Sustainability and Transformation Plan

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Sustainability Plan | NHS commissioners working across South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire

Bringing together 25 partner organisations, the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Sustainability and Transformation Plan sets out the vision, ambitions and priorities for the future of the region’s health and care. The goal is to enable everyone in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to have a great start in life, supporting them to stay healthy and live longer.

Being shared widely, staff, patients and the public are invited to give their views to help shape further work and implementation of our ambitions for prevention, strengthened primary and community services and a networked approach to hospital care.

Below are three videos highlighting the journey so far: