23. Suffolk and North East Essex
What does the STP mean for your area?
Walk-in centres in North East Essex are under threat of closure, the centre in Colchester and the minor injury units in Clacton and Harwich are most likely to face the axe.
Merging of clinical services, which could lead to some services only being available in one hospital (either Colchester and Ipswich) or moving into the community.
Closure of oral surgery clinic in West Suffolk Hospital will lead to patient delays.
What are the proposed aims of the STP?
- Elimination of a projected 2020/21 deficit of £248 million;
- Development of accountable care organisations across the footprint to integrate primary, community and social care;
- Redesign of acute services across the two hospitals in the footprint;
- The overall aim of the STP is to reduce the use of acute care services and move care into the community sector.
The STP does not contain exact details of how the deficit it going to be eliminated and services maintained. The STP has applied to NHS England for funding for some of the plans and the STP board has noted there are "huge challenges."
In July 2017 NHS England and Department of Health announced that 15 "high-achieving" STP areas will receive a share of £325m in capital investment. Suffolk and North-East Essex received a share; North Clacton will get between £1m - £5m for a new primary care hub which is expected to house three GP practices, care closer to home services and new renal dialysis unit and West Suffolk, between £1m - £5m to fund the relocation of Oakfield GP surgery into Newmarket Community Hospital.
According to the STP both hospital sites, Colchester and Ipswich, will continue to provide a full emergency department and obstetric-led maternity units. However, the STP expects "significant centralisation and specialisation of clinical services" and "standardisation of clinical and managerial systems". In other words there is the possibility that services may only become available in one of the hospitals eventually or move into the community. Fifteen specialty areas are under review.
There are plans to develop and implement an urgent care centre at Ipswich Hospital integrated with the A&E.
In North East Essex a Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP) model is being developed, that will develop into an accountable care organisation.
In Suffolk, two accountable care organisations will be formed, one in Ipswich and East Suffolk and the other in West Suffolk, that will integrate primary, community, mental health and social care services with partners working with the voluntary sector to deliver all health and care for their local populations.