Proposed consolidation of neonatal services could be the reason sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) were drawn up without GPs like me.
Nine out of 10 GPs have not been consulted about sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) in their area by their CCGs. STPs aim to sustain and transform all NHS services for each of the 44 regions in England and implement the the vision of the five-year forward view with its emphasis on self-care, prevention and collaborative working in large multi-disciplinary organisations. The GPs who have been involved in drawing up these five-year plans have roles on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and do not necessarily represent the views of their peers. This has generated criticism, particularly from the public and frontline staff who have been kept in the dark, despite many of them trying (and failing) to view the draft plans through several freedom of information requests.
Two weeks ago our local STP for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) was published. It was the first time I’d had an opportunity to look at the five-year plan put forward by local NHS hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups and local government to transform primary and secondary care provision (including mental health) as well as public-health services. There has been little input from grassroots GPs into the development of these plans. Like other STPs, its key priorities are prevention, early intervention, self-care and reducing health inequalities as well as primary, community and acute care collaboration. All worthy goals, so why keep the plan secret for so long?
It does mention consolidating neonatal services (there are two neonatal units in Bristol) and given the furore that has greeted plans to close maternity services by other STPs, this could be one reason.
For full story see The Guardian 6 December 2016