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Across 44 geographical areas in England, local NHS organisations and Councils have developed shared plans, STPs, that are designed to reduce pressure on the current health and social care system and help meet the ambitions and challenges set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
STPs are not a new model of care, but many include details of the planned development of new models of care within the STP footprint. However, for these plans to be successful, commissioners and providers will need to ensure that appropriate governance arrangements are in place for those stakeholders in an STP to make recommendations or decisions, and co-ordinate matters such as involvement and consultation on service changes.
Over time, some STPs will become Integrated Care Systems (ICS'); a new type of even closer collaboration. ICS' provide greater freedoms to manage the operational and financial performance of services in their area. In May 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced an additional four areas to become integrated care systems; strengthening their plan to strengthen primary care and the integration of services.
With no new legislation underpinning STPs, there is a need for clarity and guidance in how best to manage their implementation and the associated risks.
We have prepared a four part guide on STPs, focussing on (i) contracting for collaboration, (ii) involvement and consultation, (iii) governance and (iv) information sharing.
You can read the full guide here.