Publication of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation Plan

15 Dec 2016

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for developing local health and social care services over the next five years has been published today, Thursday 15 December 2016, for further public discussion and feedback.

This follows on from a series of ten “Conversation Staffordshire” and “Conversation Stoke-on-Trent” events hosted by both local Healthwatch organisations during November and December. Full reports on the events will be made available by Healthwatch. A summarised version of the STP has also been published today and the “you said we did” section demonstrates how health and care leaders are already taking that feedback on board.

The local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and NHS providers in the county provide services to 1.1 million people, and between now and 2019 it is anticipated the number aged 85+ will rise by 22%. This means that more people than ever before will require support in old age. The current health and care system is not currently designed to cope with, or afford, this so we need to find new ways of working.

The plan recognises that a person’s mental health needs must be treated on an equal basis with their physical health needs. This is embedded throughout all aspects of the proposals with the aim of removing stigma and ensuring that people are treated as individuals rather than a set of symptoms. Better use of digital technology, for example shared patient records, will give health and care professionals access to more information quickly.

The STP, one of 44 nationwide, is about all health and social care partners working together and with local people to join up and improve health and care within the budgets available. These changes and many more need to be achieved against the backdrop of a challenging financial position. In four years’ time health and social care in Staffordshire will be in deficit, so unless action is taken there will be a funding gap of £542m.

The STP for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent details how these challenges can be tackled in our region, including:

The plan, developed by clinical and social care leaders, sets out how services can be changed for the better to improve care and the patient experience, while addressing the problem of demand for services continually outpacing the resources available. The proposed changes within the plan will be subject to further engagement, building on that which has already taken place as part of Together We’re Better. Specific areas within the plan will then be subject to formal public consultation where appropriate and the scope and scale of these will be agreed with local Overview and Scrutiny Committees. This means that decisions on many of the proposals will not be taken until towards the end of 2017.

Dr Bill Gowans, Medical Director for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on Trent STP said: “Over the past nine months, we have been working with health and care organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent on how best to meet the many opportunities and challenges facing us. The ideas within our plan focus on the need to provide safe, high quality, consistent and affordable health and care to everyone. It also recognises that we all need to take more responsibility for our own health, and to plan and budget for the social care that we will need as we get older.

“There are real concerns about the future health and wellbeing of all our communities, including the effects of smoking, obesity, mental health, diabetes and cancer. Through the STP the ultimate aim is for people to lead healthy, independent lives, whilst being able to access the right local help when they need it. If we get things right, we will need far less hospital beds as most of the care that people need most of the time will take place in or near to where people live.”

Penny Harris, Programme Director said: “It’s no secret that our health and care economy is facing enormous financial and other pressures and all local health and care organisations accept the case for change, and support the overall direction of travel. Our plan gives us the basis of the detailed discussion we now need to have with all our communities, including health and care professionals and non-clinical staff, and we hope that as many people as possible will get actively involved in shaping the services of the future.”

For further information or assistance please contact Andrew Ashcroft, Head of Communications, on 01782 676644, on behalf of the STP.


The STP summary and full plan can be found on the Together We’re Better website.

The plan will continue to develop, and although it sets out a clear direction of travel, at this stage no formal decisions have been made about changing the way services are provided.

Now that a high level plan has been created, all organisations involved with the STP want to talk to those people who live and work in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent about how it can be improved and what needs to be done to make it happen. Those from local government and the NHS services working in partnership on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) will be engaging with frontline clinicians and a wide range of stakeholders and the public in the months ahead.

The organisations who have been involved in the co-creation of the STP are: