STPs clash over possible ‘repatriation’ of services

Two sustainability and transformation plan areas are in disagreement over a plan to reconfigure cardiovascular services, with one key provider trust citing concerns that “longstanding strong clinical relationships are under threat”.

Frimley Health Foundation Trust, the sole acute provider in the Frimley Health and Care STP, currently provides cardiovascular care for patients referred from the Royal Surrey County Hospital, an acute care provider based in the neighbouring Surrey Heartlands STP patch.

Services offered by Frimley Health include 24/7 emergency angioplasty for patients who are having heart attacks. This service is not available at the Royal Surrey.

This arrangement could change after Surrey Heartlands STP signalled it will be “conducting a review of cardiovascular services and the flows of activity across its borders”, Frimley Health’s March board papers said. This could lead to cardiovascular work being “repatriated” to Surrey Heartlands STP.

A spokesman for Frimley Health told HSJ: “Our concerns are about potentially breaking up an existing network of relationships and replacing with a model that is not led or preferred by the clinicians involved. We expect to make our representations as part of the Surrey Heartlands review.”

Full story in The HSJ, 23 March 2017