The NHS is under enormous pressure – with increasing demand, the costs of more sophisticated treatments, workforce pressures and a challenging financial environment – which we see almost daily in the media. And whilst every day our skilled and dedicated staff offer fantastic care for patients, it’s clear the current system isn’t working as well as it should and doesn’t reflect how services need to be delivered. This presents us with a real opportunity to transform health and social care, working alongside clinicians and local residents to develop services in a new and different way.
These plans are called Sustainability and Transformation Plans, and neighbouring health and care services have joined together in geographical areas where it makes sense for organisations to work together.
Each area has been asked to address what have been identified by NHS England as the three big ‘gaps’:
- Health and wellbeing – promoting healthier lifestyles and supporting people to take responsibility for their own health
- Care and quality – making sure everyone has access to the very best care and treatments
- Finance and efficiency – making sure health and care organisations get best value for money, eliminating waste and keep within budget.