City becomes the first to publish its full STP

Birmingham and Solihull’s sustainability and transformation plan, which has been published today despite NHS England asking for the release of STPs to be delayed, has proposed a single “lead provider” for maternity care.

STP leaders have been told to hold off on publishing their “full” submissions, which were made on Friday, while they are checked by national officials, HSJ understands. This has come amid rising anxiety about the potentially-controversial proposals and how they will be communicated.

However Birmingham City Council has ignored this, and published the full 80-page submission today ahead of a council meeting later this week.

The Birmingham and Solihull STP, which is chaired by the council’s chief executive, said it will:

  • Establish a single “lead provider” for maternity care across Birmingham and Solihull;
  • Look to “immediately” implement a shared service for back office functions across its four main acute providers and create a centralised laboratory for routine pathology work;
  • Support a phased implementation of a multispecialty community provider model across the patch over the next five years.
  • A “universal offer for enhanced general medical practice” will also be made available to GPs.

There are currently two main providers of maternity care across the Birmingham and Solihull STP patch: Birmingham Women’s Foundation Trust and Heart of England FT.

The STP document, published by Birmingham City Council today, states that a “lead provider” will be established for maternity care. Under the lead provider model, a single organisation becomes responsible for all services within scope of the contract, but is able to subcontract to other providers.

The STP also outlines plans for a new a Birmingham and Solihull maternity pathway – known as “BUMP” – which aims to create a single point of access to maternity services for all women by 2018. Both trusts providing maternity services will to “commit to delivering the [BUMP] programme at pace through a lead provider contracting model”, it says.

Birmingham Women’s Hospital FT’s chief executive, Sarah-Jane Marsh, is also chair of NHS England’s maternity transformation programme board.

Plans also state the intention to move to a “prime provider” model for specialist services across the patch, by 2017-18, in order to address NHS England plans for specialised commissioning.

Full story in The HSJ 24 October 2016