17. Birmingham and Solihull
What does the STP mean for your area?
Downgrading of Birmingham City and Sandwell Hospitals, with services being transferred to the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital due to open in Spring 2019.
Under the STP there will be the development of 4/5 urgent care centres/integrated service hubs across the area. These hubs will provide immediate access to urgent primary care, diagnostics, pharmacy, treatment of minor ailments, and minor procedures.
GPs will also be embedded in A&E units to reduce waiting times and free up emergency teams.
The STP aims to keep patients out of expensive hospital wards and A&E by providing better access to GP and community services, including social care, but the city council health scrutiny committee report says there is no indication of how social services will be able to afford this.
In early December 2016, Birmingham City Council published a report which concluded that the STP risked side-lining social care and pushing more costs onto hard-up councils.
What are the proposed aims of the STP?
- Eliminate a projected 2020/21 deficit of £712 million;
- Merger of back-office functions;
- Reduction in the use of the acute sector;
- More patients treated in the community.
- The STP states it has an overall "Triple Aim - Better Care, Better Health, Lower costs"
The STP focuses on achieving a reduction in the use of expensive hospital care, by improving access to primary care and social care, however the STP is short on details of how the increase in primary and social care will be funded.
In August 2016, prior to the publication of the STP, LMC leaders in Birmingham accused local NHS bosses of planning ‘far reaching changes’ to general practice in the city without properly consulting GP provider representatives. The Birmingham LMC had obtained a draft of the plans for GP services being developed as part of the STP. The proposals include new seven-day primary care hubs that would serve populations of 40,000 to 100,000 and provide specialist outpatient appointments; virtual beds supporting patients discharged earlier from hospital, primary care appointments available within 24 hours and seven-day GP appointments.