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STP leads to undergo ‘formal appointment process’, NHS chief says


9 February 2017

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The NHS is looking to begin a ‘formal appointment process’ for leaders of regional plans designed to overhaul healthcare in England.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, has said that NHS England will use their own resources as well as those from CCGs and trusts to ‘beef up’ the implementation processes of sustainability and transformation plans.

Speaking at an NHS England board meeting today, he said the Five Year Forward View delivery plan, which is due out in March, will give formally appointed STP leads new decision rights.

The NHS is looking to begin a ‘formal appointment process’ for leaders of regional plans designed to overhaul healthcare in England.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, has said that NHS England will use their own resources as well as those from CCGs and trusts to ‘beef up’ the implementation processes of sustainability and transformation plans.

Speaking at an NHS England board meeting today, he said the Five Year Forward View delivery plan, which is due out in March, will give formally appointed STP leads new decision rights.

He said under these new rights, STP leads would be able to make decisions about NHS England activities and recommend changes to ‘the configuration or governance’ of STP partners, including local government and CCGs.

Stevens said STP leads would be able to recommend changes where they believe that ‘veto power or inertia’ is getting in the way of implementing the changes proposed.

He told the board: 'We will be, in the delivery plan, clearly signalling that we will be moving towards a formal appointment process for STP leads across the country bringing together resources that exist in NHS England together with CCG resources, trust resources to beef up the implementation capability that exists at STP level, giving them decision rights, not only over many of our activities but also the ability to recommend changes to the configuration or governance of constituent statutory organisations in those geographies where the STP believe that veto power or inertia is getting in the way of the bigger strategic change agenda that is required in that part of the country.'

His comments come after concern from reports by leading healthcare organisations, which said that a lack of clear STP governance could ruin the plans.

An opinion survey of NHS finance directors by Healthcare Financial Management Association found that 62% would prioritise their own organisation’s priorities over those of the local sustainability and transformation plan (STP).

The report suggests this is because the authority and accountability of STPs is unclear, as 72% of finance directors are unsure on how STPs relate to the statutory duties of NHS boards or to the 2016 NHS financial control totals.

The report added that without clearer governance, finance directors would prioritise the financial position of their own organization, making it “likely to undermine the ability of STPs to generate genuine transformation”.

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