39. Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

In October 2018, the chief executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to all STP leaders instructing them to come up with new five year plans by autumn 2019. The new five-year plans will replace those which were drawn-up in 2016 based on the previous five-year funding settlement to 2020-21. The new five year STP will be developed based on a new NHS England budget.

The letter notes that “It will be extremely important that you develop your plans with the proper engagement of all parts of your local systems and that they provide robust and credible solutions for the challenges you will face in caring for your local populations over the next five years.”

NOTE: The information on this page relates to the original STP drawn up in 2016, however much of the information is still relevant and could be part of the new STP.

What does the STP mean for your area?

Health planners are trying to reduce NHS deficits and think about ways to re organise care. However getting the large deficits under control could prevent facilities being developed that can cope with the health and care social needs of local people.

Proposed cuts

Analysis of the STP shows that the aim is to reduce the number of acute beds in the area by 30%.

Weston General Hospital's A&E will be downgraded.

At a council meeting in January 2017, the council concluded that the STP's aim to cut £305 million from the Bristol area's NHS funding will result in fewer hospital beds, closure of services and less frontline staff.

Extra cost-savings needed

This area contains some high-spending CCGs that NHS England has targeted with suggestions for additional cost-saving measures to ensure they remain within their 'control totals' (or budget) for 2017/18; this is part of what is known as the Capped Expenditure Programme (CEP). These measures include increasing waiting times, closing wards and theatres, stopping funding for some treatments or rationing, reducing staff and selling property. As a result:

  • There were plans to cut IVF services and ration by age (30-35), but a local campaign has been successful in getting this proposal withdrawn.
  • Cuts planned by South Gloucestershire CCG include in the areas of cancer diagnostics and treatment for children with complex needs and longer waiting times for patients as the 'referral to treatment times are relaxed.