Somerset STP plots ‘accountable care system’

Somerset’s sustainability and transformation plan sets the goal of implementing an “accountable care system” by April 2019.

The plan, which was published yesterday, proposes consolidating services across Somerset’s two acute providers, and warns that without change the county will face a cumulative funding shortfall of £596m by 2020-21.

Somerset’s STP footprint includes Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust, Somerset Partnership FT, Yeovil District Hospital FT and Somerset county council.

The plan says that an accountable care system will be achieved by April 2019, comprising of two parts: a “strategic commissioning function” will be created with NHS and social care working together “under a single commissioning arrangement to secure outcomes and pool budgets”. This will be accompanied by an “accountable provider organisation”, where services are “delivered by a provider, or group of providers” through a single governance structure to the Somerset population through an outcome based contract.

It is not clear whether the accountable provider organisation could result in providers merging, but the STP states that moving to the accountable care system will result in a “reduction in management overheads and organisations”.

Full story in the HSJ 11 November 2016