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There are 44 STP footprints, Stevens revealed


1 March 2016

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There are 44 footprints for the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said today, revealing the average population size for STPs in each region.

There are 44 footprints for the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said today, revealing the average population size for STPs in each region.

The first versions of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans are due by April 11, and near-final versions in June. Stevens said: “Jim Mackey and I will personally spending time with chief execs and other local leaders in April and in July to look at the quality and sophistication of the process and answers.”

The result is 44 STP footprints, the populations covered from these ranges from 300,000 to 3 million. The average in north England and London is 1.8/1.9 million, covering six or seven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and seven or eight trusts. In the south and midlands and east there are smaller populations of around 1/1.1 million on average, covering three or four CCGs and three or four providers.

NHS England does not want administrative reorganisation, the chief said, so it is not creating new administrations to lead this process. “Contrary to what you’ve read we’ve not been prescriptive, at least not nationally, about the footprints that the STPs should cover,” said Stevens.

He continued: “Could they be smaller? Sure they could, there could for example be 209 of them and we could call them CCGs. Could they be larger? Sure they could… These are umbrella plans that are created to bring a manageable number of people together.”

“There are some reasonably strong incentives as to why people should take this process seriously. We have held back the funding growth for the NHS over the next five years, such that the £2.1 billion that is in the national sustainability and transformation fund this year will grow to £3.4 billion by 2020. But we only intend on releasing that to local communities on agreement of a plan that works and demonstrates how those three gaps are being addressed.”

“Without that, frankly, it’s pretty hard to see how people are going to be able to navigate their way forward,” he added.

NHS England is “under no illusions” about the scale of this challenge, he said, recognising that local leaders are “on a burning platform” to create change quickly, and that they are coming from “a very mixed starting point”. He stated that NHS England will publish case studies in the next six to eight weeks to show areas that are doing very well with the STPs.

Stevens also said that NHS England will “shortly” be setting out what improvement in the vanguards look like, in order to spread learning. 

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