Leaked STP calls for £160m for hospital services shake-up

Health leaders in Lancashire and south Cumbria believe £160m is required over the next two financial years to deliver key changes to NHS services, according to a leaked draft of the region’s sustainability and transformation plan.

The document, which was submitted to NHS England last month and has been obtained by HSJ, outlines the need to consolidate the region’s acute and specialised services on fewer sites, but largely sets out high level intentions rather than detailed options or proposals.

Services to be assessed for new models of delivery will include: vascular; cancer; maternity; neonatology; paediatrics; critical care; end of life care; and orthopaedics.

A senior leader in the region told HSJ decisions around service or organisational mergers have not yet been taken, while another said: “There’s absolutely nothing in the STP. It’s all motherhood and apple pie.”

The document, which includes a 96-page annex, sets out a predicted “financial gap” of £572m by 2021 if no action is taken, but says significant transformation and capital investment will be needed in the next two years to help deliver the required efficiency savings.

It says: “Healthier Lancashire and south Cumbria (the STP) estimates that it will require £160m across 2017-18 and 2018-19 in order to develop new models of care and achieve the changes in hospital services.”

This would include about £95m for hospital specialties to be consolidated, and £65m for community premises to be built or adapted “to facilitate the transformational aspects of primary and community services developments”. Further investment would be required in subsequent years, it says.

The document acknowledges current “constraints on capital” and says the option of “non-NHS sources [of funding] will be examined carefully”.

Full story in The HSJ 10 November 2016