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Union says ‘fast pace’ of STPs could undo benefits

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25 October 2016

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The “fast pace”  of reforms to health and social care could risk undoing the benefits they could bring, according to public sector union Unison.

It is concerned that the speed that sustainability and transformation plans  (STP) are “being pushed through” could undo “much of the good the proposals could potentially bring".

The “fast pace”  of reforms to health and social care could risk undoing the benefits they could bring, according to public sector union Unison.

It is concerned that the speed that sustainability and transformation plans  (STP) are “being pushed through” could undo “much of the good the proposals could potentially bring".

The union’s head of health Christina McAnea said: “The plans could lead to closer working between health and social care, and between the various parts of the NHS in particular areas. This would be in the best interests of both patients and staff.”

However she said she was worried about the tight deadlines for submitting plans for 44 “footprint” STP areas covering populations from 300,000 to 2.8 million patients.

They had to submit their strategy for health, care and finance over the next five years as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View last week.

Leaders for the 44 footprints were announced  by NHS England in March this year to draw up plans based on areas rather than institutions.

They were also told to look further ahead, with a five year plan replacing the one year schemes.

Draft plans were submitted in June before Friday’s   final dealine.

Ms McAnea said: “Meeting Friday’s deadline did not allow enough time to give these plans the full consideration needed for them to work properly.” The union has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and asked him to put the brakes on to give the public and unions a chance to get involved.

Ms McAnea said: “Health workers and the public need reassurance that the won’t be a new round of cuts, closures and hospital mergers as a result of these plans.”

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