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NHS Confederation - Response to STP footprints and leaders

Rob Webster, chief executive, NHS Confederation, responded to the STP footprints and leaders announced this week by NHS England

"The STP process signals a change in approach to planning that is very welcome - from organisation to place and from short term survival  to medium term sustainability. We welcome the announcement of the footprints for planning and the emerging list of STP leaders. The key now will be to provide a robust package of support for all 44 leaders to be able to work in partnership across their local systems.

"Our members tell us that in order to transform services we need this national support and a joined up approach from the national bodies. This must improve as 86 per cent of our members feel the national bodies work in a contradictory way, and the majority feel that their policies do not support local transformation. We also know that our members need the space and support to strengthen local relationships and encourage partnership working across localities.  61 per cent of respondents from our recent member survey said that the lack of maturity in local relationships was a barrier to joint sustainability planning . National bodies have an important role to play in supporting and enabling local leaders to foster critical local relationships that will determine the fate of these plans. What must be avoided is excessive control from the centre, which would stifle local ambition to transform local health and care services. 

"National bodies have sent a clear signal today about how they want to change and what the NHS and local government needs to do to keep its part of the bargain. For the leaders announced today, and in the coming weeks, they will need the freedom, flexibility and support to drive forward the service changes that best fits their local areas."

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