The launch of the first STP took place this week, with local NHS and political leaders in Birmingham and Solihull publishing their strategy for delivering a more sustainable and efficient local health and care service.
The review lists local challenges in the health and care system, sets key priorities and outlines what will be done by local decision-makers.
The Plan accepts that the current system does not use resources effectively and that there is too much variation in clinical services, including ‘unjustified variation in quality and access’. It states that ‘too much care that can be delivered elsewhere is provided in a hospital setting’ and that this results in bottlenecks, which have an adverse impact on patient care and sustainability of services. Local leaders are clear that many challenges arise because of a ‘historical over reliance on acute services’.
The STP sets out three main strategic objectives for improving health and care for over 1 million local people:
The STP makes clear that it has to move ‘activity that is currently provided in a hospital setting into more local settings’ by focusing on prevention and self-care.
Commenting on the STP, NCHA Chief Executive David Hewlett said: “Birmingham and Solihull was first out of the blocks, and this STP’s focus on transitioning services out of hospital to drive efficiency, quality and access is to be welcomed. The NHS has tried to move services out of hospitals for decades and additional support from local leaders may be the key that finally delivers for patients. STPs across England must complement and accelerate these ongoing transformations, delivering the exact goals Birmingham and Solihull have already prioritised.”