Emergency department to close as part of £245m savings plan

An accident and emergency department will close in Staffordshire along with 100 community hospital beds, according to the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent sustainability and transformation plan.

The STP, the last one in England to be published, has set out changes to the delivery of healthcare in the county, driven by a need to close a deficit gap by 2020-21 of more than £1bn if no action was taken.

The solutions outlined in the STP will deliver £245m of savings. The planned changes include ambitious reductions in non-elective activity, including a 30 per cent reduction in A&E attendances and a 20 per cent reduction in A&E admissions.

This will involve the closure of one of the three emergency departments in the county. While no formal decisions have been made, several sources close to the plan told HSJ the part-time A&E at Stafford hospital was the most likely to close and be replaced with a 24 hour urgent care centre.

As a result of the changes, Staffordshire would have an overall deficit of £361m between 2016-17 and 2020-21, which will need to be bridged. The region is seeking a Staffordshire-wide STP control total to help ensure the system works better together.

Full story in The HSJ 15 December 2016