Sustainability and Transformation Plan engagement guidance published

Thu, 15 September 2016

National Voices comments on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) engagement guidance, published on 15 September 2016 by NHS England.

The NHS has published a guide on engaging local people as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) process. 

Commenting on the guide, Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices, said:

All over the country health and care services are under pressure, not sufficiently joined up, and there is not enough provision outside hospitals. The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust report, Social Care for Older People, demonstrates the devastating impact of chronic underfunding and overstretched services on our population’s health and wellbeing, with rising inequalities in access and quality of care.

If services are to improve they also need to change, and those changes need to be made in partnership with people and communities

Public engagement in the Sustainability and Transformation Plan process got off to a poor start. Too much planning has been behind closed doors. Now local planners need to make up lost ground, mend damaged trust and engage with local people, communities and voluntary organisations.

The guidance published today is useful and will help. The document explicitly references the six principles for engaging people and communities which National Voices and others in the sector were closely involved in producing.

Beyond the planning process itself, Sustainability and Transformation Plans need to establish how local areas will engage their communities on a continuing basis. Health is not just about the NHS – it’s about jobs, housing, education, the vital role of the voluntary sector, and how people are supported to live healthy lives. The NHS has to get much better at working in partnership with other agencies and with communities to take a holistic view.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans are the local plans being developed across th NHS and social care in England. They will set out how the quality of services will improve, funding challenges will be addressed, and the health and wellbeing of local people will be improved.

For more information, please contact National Voices' Head of Communications, Andrew McCracken, on 020 3176 0738 or