In December 2015, health and care systems across England were asked to come together to create their own local blueprint for implementing the Five Year Forward View, known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).
Since then all health and care organisations in south east London have been working together with local councils to make plans and decisions that will ensure the sustainability of our services into the future.
The STPs aim to tackle the biggest challenges facing the NHS – money, workforce, estates and delivering high quality proactive and preventative care.
There are two STPs that cover the geography of our Trust – south east London and south west London. The south east London STP was published on Monday 7 November, whilst the south west STP remains under development and is due to be published later this month. The plan is that commissioners and providers will undertake further engagement and discussion with staff and local people as the detailed plans for the STPs continue to develop.
South east London STP
The STP for south east London builds on work that was already taking place via Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL), which has been a programme in development since 2013.
The south east London STP was published on Monday following a national assurance process. You can read the Full STP and Summary on the OHSEL website.
The major clinical change proposed in the south east London STP is to consult local people on plans to develop two new specialist orthopaedic centres which would bring together routine and planned surgery together from across south east London. The STP also talks about plans for a single out-of-hours service and quicker admissions to A&E. There are no proposals to close local NHS services as part of this plan.
South west London STP
It is too early to say whether there will be a reconfiguration of acute services in south west London – however the current hypothesis is that four acute sites would be the optimum number. Should any significant service changes be proposed there would be a public consultation on these.
There are no plans in the STPs with regards to the number of mental health sites. In fact, both STPs are positively supportive of SLaM’s own planned direction of travel – which focuses on close partnership working with our neighbouring mental health trusts around specialist care and back office, and a strong local borough partnership approach.
As a trust we have been working to influence and develop the STPs in partnership with our local colleagues. The south east London STP includes a focus on integrating mental health services, to ensure that mental health as well as physical health needs are identified and addressed – including training for non-clinical workforce to recognise and support mental health needs.
The wider picture
Across the country the NHS continues to go through a period of unprecedented change and not a day goes by without there being another headline about an NHS Trust facing financial difficulties.
Over the next few months and years we are focusing our energies on improving the way we work by implementing our Quality Improvement programme and using our estate more effectively. We are also exploring working more closely with our local mental health Trusts and the potential for sharing appropriate support and back office services.
We will keep you informed of any developments and let you know about opportunities to discuss the STP further and to contribute to more detailed plans as they develop.
Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45