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Health Select Committee launches inquiry into Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs)

Blog posted by: Paula Reid, Monday, 10 April 2017.

The Health Select Committee has launched an inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and has published a call for evidence. 

STPs were introduced in 2016/17 as a key part of the planning process for the health and care system. In recognition of the fact that the current challenges and funding pressures across health and social care cannot be solved in isolation, the STPs were introduced to drive integration and encourage local partners to work together to address these issues. NHS services, commissioners, local authorities and other partners should come together to develop plans, based on local need, to achieve the key ambitions of the Five Year Forward View for the NHS, including better health outcomes, transformations in how care is delivered and financial sustainability.

There are 44 STP areas (called ‘footprints’) across England and they have all now published their plans. A recent publication from the NHS outlining the next steps for the Five Year Forward View, highlights the continuing importance of these plans in achieving what the report describes as the ‘biggest national move to integrated care of any Western country’.

Despite this drive for integration, housing remains a key omission from many of the plans. While many make reference to housing as one of a number of wider factors affecting health, very few lay out specific plans to better integrate housing, health and care. STPs are also supposed to be vehicles for addressing health inequalities in local populations, but there is little mention, if any, of the significantly poorer health outcomes for people who are homeless in the plans.

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