16. The Black Country
What does the STP mean for your area?
Merging of Sandwell and City district hospitals by October 2018 into the Midland Metropolitan Hospital. Only the Midland Metropolitan Hospital will have an A&E, thereby reducing the number of A&E in the area.
The back pain and arthritis service at Walsall Manor hospital will be cut, as it is deemed to be unsustainable.
What are the proposed aims of the STP?
- The elimination of a projected £700 million funding gap by 2020/21;
- To implement local-based models of care for each community that deliver improved access to local services for the whole population, greater continuity of care for those with ongoing conditions and more coordinated care for those with the most complex needs.
- Transition to outcomes based commissioning, which may take the form of a single, or multiple, accountable care organisations.
- Development of the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital (bringing together acute services from Sandwell and City hospitals)
- Extend collaboration between service providers to ensure continuity of care
- Improve maternal and infant health
- The main crux of the STP is for greater integration and coordination of care across the region, including primary, community and mental health care.
The STP contains ambitious targets, including the reduction in infant mortality, improving cancer survival and A&E waiting times, however the details of how these are going to be achieved are unclear from the STP.
A major component of the STP is finding savings through re-organisation of back-office functions across both commissioning and provider organisations, including payroll, support staff employment models, procurement, human resources, telephony and legal services, call centres, licensing of telephones, IT applications and hotel services.
The STP document also said it could use sustainability and transformation funding to buy out expensive private finance initiatives and local improvement finance trusts.
The STP includes an investment of £25 million in primary care services.