Leaked STP reveals region cannot meet control totals

NHS organisations in Hertfordshire and Essex are unable to “accept” their control totals for the next two financial years, according to a sustainability and transformation plan leaked to HSJ.

The Hertfordshire and west Essex STP reveals that the area is currently facing £42m and £51m gaps between the “aggregate control totals” and “aggregate of plans” in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.

The plan also says there is “significant uncertainty about the ability to maintain the planned year-end financial position for 2016-17”, which it says puts at risk the ability for the STP to succeed.

The plan does not make clear which organisations are not in “a position” to accept their control totals, but the three acute trusts in the area – The Princess Alexandra Hospital, East and North Hertfordshire, and West Hertfordshire Hospitals – have a history of significant financial problems. All were running deficits in quarter two of this financial year. Hertfordshire Community Trust and Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust, also part of the STP footprint, were both around break-even.

The STP said it should be able to return the health economy to financial balance by 2020-21 by saving “at least £452m”. However, the plans still left “a total system gap of £101m which is attributable directly to social care”. The document said the scale of the social care deficit may result in “reductions of service” and warned that continuation of “demand mitigation strategies” would “prove difficult to maintain”.

Full story in The HSJ 9 December 2016