First STP rankings present mixed picture

21 Jul 17

NHS England has released its first rankings of the 44 sustainability and transformation partnerships across the country showing five have been rated “outstanding” while five are in worst category – “needs most improvement”.

Another 20 are rated as “advanced”, while the remaining 14 are “making progress”.

The “outstanding” STPs are: Dorset; Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton Richmondshire and Whitby; Frimley Heath; Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton; South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

The rating is driven by indicators in three broad areas: hospital performance, patient-focused change, and transformation.

These are measured in nine domains: emergency care; elective care; safety; general practice; mental health; cancer; prevention; finance and system leadership.

Commenting on the findings, Rob Whiteman, chief executive of CIPFA, said: “The STP ratings demonstrate that the transformation plans have made a promising start towards service integration.

“However, they also highlight that improvements need to be made and urgently.”

He noted that recent analysis from CIPFA showed that the timescale pressures on STPs was stopping many from creating concrete plans that would provide meaningful change.

Whiteman added: “It is important that this is addressed to ensure all STPs can deliver effective outcomes for the communities they serve.”

NHS Providers welcomed the publication of the rankings as a “useful” benchmark that could inform the health service about the progress it was making. But the organisation warned that extra money was needed to achieve the aims of the STPs.

Amber Davenport, head of policy at NHS Providers, stated a “substantial injection” of capital funding is required this year if the programmes are to deliver.

She said: “STPs cannot be expected to deliver plans which require capital without appropriate financial support.  

“Given trusts are already held to account for their contribution to the wider system through NHS Improvement’s Single Oversight Framework, it is important that the national bodies remain consistent and that these new ratings do not result in different signals being sent to trusts and other STP partners about priorities to focus on.”

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