Revealed: Radical new approach to healthcare to prevent £248m overspend in Suffolk and north Essex

Radical plans to overhaul the region’s health and social care system were released yesterday, offering the public its first glimpse at how leaders hope to overcome vast financial and cultural challenges.

The Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) outlines a new vision with wide-reaching implications for hospitals, housing, mental health, end-of-life, cancer, maternity care and more.

Led by Nick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, the STP is one of 44 being created nationwide and involves some 26 organisations.

Mr Hulme said the changes would enable health and social care providers to make sure that by 2021 the million people who live in this area “will have healthier, happier lives and are better supported to look after their own wellbeing”.

Nationally, however, the schemes have been criticised after a leading think-tank this week warned they were “developed at significant speed and without the meaningful involvement of frontline staff or the patients they serve”.

Some leaked STPs for other regions have indicated possible closures of A&E departments and maternity wards to find savings.

The Suffolk and North East Essex STP warns the region is heading for a £248million overspend by 2021, unless action is taken, and outlines a range of proposals to make services more efficient.

Full story in East Anglian Daily Times 19th November 2016