National Voices comments on King’s Fund STPs report

Mon, 14 November 2016

The King’s Fund have published a report on Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) which concludes that despite the controversy surrounding them, STPs offer the “best hope to improve health and care services.” The authors highlight poor engagement in STPs, concluding that patients and the public have been “largely absent” from the process.

Commenting on the report, Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities, said:

"Health and care services need to change, but that change must be driven by the needs of people and communities.  

"The NHS’s own guidance to STP areas states that  ‘involving people, communities and stakeholders meaningfully is essential to effective service improvement and system transformation’.

"While some areas are trying to put these principles into practice it is very variable. Developing plans behind closed doors, and presenting near final proposals, does not count as ‘meaningful involvement’. We agree with the King’s Fund’s analysis that lack of engagement creates risks. We recommend the Six principles for engaging people and communities, developed by the People and Communities Board, which offer practical guidance on meaningful engagement.

"Health and care planners need to make up lost ground, mend damaged trust and engage with local people, communities and voluntary organisations, creating a shared vision for the future of services."

For further information, contact Andrew McCracken, Head of Communications at National Voices, on 020 3176 0737 or andrew.mccracken@nationalvoices.org.uk.