8. Cheshire & Merseyside

ICS to be developed

The NHS ten-year long-term plan published in January 2019 stated includes the development of integrated care systems (ICS) across England, in which healthcare organisations, including acute, community and primary care, and social care and public health will work closely together. These ICS are to evolve from the STP areas and be in place by April 2021.

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

These new STP plans will now feed into the development of the ICS.

The ICS will develop either through a number of alliance contracts or through a single provider being in charge of integration of services - an integrated service provider (ICP).

For more information on ICS see our briefing page here.

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

What concerns have been raised about your STP?

Health planners are trying to reduce NHS deficits and make changes to the way care is organised. However getting the large deficit under control could prevent facilities being developed that can cope with the health and care social needs of local people.

Proposed changes

The closure of the current Liverpool Women's hospital site and move to new site after a merger of Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals Trust, Aintree University Hospitals Foundation Trust and Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust.

The downgrade of the Macclesfield District General Hospital A&E to a minor injuries unit.

Possiblility of reduced A&E opening hours for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust, St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust, and Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Emphasis on cost-cutting

In official documents leaked to the HSJ and reported by the Independent, cost cutting measures for the three areas - East Cheshire, Vale Royal and South Cheshire could include:

  • Longer waiting times for elective care;
  • Closure of wards and theatres;
  • Staffing cuts;
  • Ending funding for some treatments and prescriptions;
  • Delaying or avoiding funding newly approved treatments.

These measures have been described as “thinking the unthinkable”. Documents leaked to the Guardian  reveal concerns that the cost-cutting measures will mean that cancer patients in Cheshire could die sooner because they will end up waiting longer for urgent hospital treatment.

The STP contains cuts amounting to £1.5 billion according to campaigners and planners are ignoring the concerns of local citizens.