What is an STP?
STP stands for Sustainability and Transformation Partnership. These are areas covering all of England, where local NHS organisations and councils drew up shared proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve.
STPs were created to bring local health and care leaders together to plan around the long-term needs of local communities. They have been making simple, practical improvements like making it easier to see a GP, speeding up cancer diagnosis and offering help faster to people with mental ill health.
In some area, STPs have evolved to become ‘integrated care systems’, a new form of even closer collaboration between the NHS and local councils. The NHS Long Term Plan set out the aim that every part of England will be covered by an integrated care system by 2021, replacing STPs but building on their good work to date.
Which organisations are members of the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin STP?
The Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership members are:
- Telford & Wrekin Council
- Shropshire Council
- Telford & Wrekin CCG
- Shropshire CCG
- Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)
- Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH)
- Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT)
- Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (Shropcom)
Which other partners does the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin STP work with?
In order to develop strategies and activity and to collectively shape health and care services for local people, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation members work alongside a wider group of organisations. These include:
- The independent patient champions Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin and Healthwatch Shropshire
- The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE)
- Local citizens including health and care service users and patients
What is an integrated care system?
An integrated care system is an even closer collaboration with NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, taking collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve.
Local services can provide better and more joined-up care when different organisations work together in this way. For staff, improved collaboration can help to make it easier to work with colleagues from other organisations. And systems can better understand data about local people’s health, allowing them to provide care that is tailored to individual needs.
Why are STPs and integrated care systems needed?
STPs and integrated care systems are a way for NHS organisations and councils to develop their own, locally appropriate proposals to improve health and care for residents. They work in partnership with democratically elected local councils, drawing on the expertise of frontline staff and on conversations about priorities within the communities they serve.
This collaborative approach has allowed local leaders across the country to plan around the needs of whole areas, not just those of individual organisations. They are led by well-respected figures from different parts of the NHS and local government, including chief executives of NHS trusts, accountable officers of clinical commissioning groups, local government senior leaders and clinicians.
Working together they are in a better position to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan’s aim for ‘triple integration’ of primary and specialist care, physical and mental health services, and health with social care.
What does this mean for people who use services?
The NHS is one of this country’s proudest achievements and it has always adapted to improve care. The growing number of older people in England is in part a testament to its success. But, with demand for care rising and new technologies emerging, the NHS needs once more to adapt to a changing world.
To achieve this, the NHS Long Term Plan set out a renewed focus on joining up services and investing in ways to prevent illness and keep people out of hospital. With a range of organisations and frontline professionals working together more closely, patients will see services work in a more joined up way, are only having to tell their story once and are receiving care better tailored to their individual needs.
What about frontline staff?
STPs and integrated care systems draw on local knowledge about the priorities and challenges in different parts of the country. Frontline staff are crucial to understanding these. Many senior leaders come from a clinical background and leadership teams often include clinical representatives.
STPs and integrated care systems allow areas to think about long-term solutions to local workforce goals and challenges, as well as supporting staff to develop their skills and provide the best care possible.
Have communities been involved in the development of STPs and integrated care systems?
Yes. In establishing STPs, proposals were discussed with local staff and communities. These proposals were published in 2016 and STPs, with the involvement of clinicians, engaged with networks established by medical royal colleges, trade unions, the voluntary and community sector, and others.
Engagement is ongoing within local communities as STPs are replaced by integrated care systems, with clinical guidance also assured as the NHS Long Term Plan sets out the need for engagement with primary care, including through a named accountable Clinical Director of each primary care network.
As we move from STPs to integrated care systems, no changes to the services people currently receive will be made without local engagement and, where required, formal public consultation. There are longstanding assurance processes in place to make sure this happens.