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The following will be discussed at the next Kingstone Branch meeting:


This Branch / constituency notes that:

In December 2015 NHS England required Clinical Commissioning Groups to come together to create 44 Footprint Areas across England and to submit NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans, known as STPs, by 21st October 2016.

Also that the STPs are expected to show how local services will be reorganised to follow the ‘new models of care’ (NMC) described in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View published, just over two years ago, in October  2014.

These NMCs were proposed as a way of making the NHS more ‘efficient’, which would tackle the ‘identified’ £22 billion shortfall in funding over these next five years.  This shortfall is a political decision which is linked to austerity with the Treasury’s refusing to give the NHS the funds it needs.

The NMCs are also promoted as making services safer and better quality.  In reality they centralise specialist and emergency care, reduce beds and services in local hospitals, reduce staffing, and expect people to ‘self-care’ if they suffer from long term conditions.

There is a sustainability and Transformation Fund (STF) available to support the required changes, but ‘footprints’ only receive a share of this if their STP meets the requirement to follow the NMCs, and they balance the budgets, no deficits allowed.

For the local populations this means service cuts in hospitals and the community, hospital closures and longer journeys in emergencies, or out of hours.  A 24/7 service will not change these cuts; people will travel further at night and weekends, despite the promotion of the NMCs continually repeating the phrase ‘care closer to home’.

Barnsley is in the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Footprint area and the local hospital services will be affected, as community services already are being.  Barnsley will not be a ‘hub’ – formerly called a ‘centre of excellence’.

This is demonstrated by the changes already being proposed for Barnsley’s hyperacute stroke service, children’s surgery and potentially chemotherapy.  The future of our A&E is already under question.

Julia Simon, former Head of the Commissioning Policy Unit at NHS England, talked to GPonline in September 2016 about STPs saying:

  • They will contain ‘unrealistic financial forecasts and claims about benefits to patient care’
  • That ‘hastily drawn-up plans would lead to financial problems’
  • And ‘ultimately it means bankruptcy in some areas’.

Local Authorities are expected to ‘sign off’ the STPs via their Scrutiny Committees and Health & Wellbeing Boards.

Councils have already refused to do so in London and the Midlands, and Councils in West Yorkshire have written to NHS England saying that they will not consider doing so until they have time to study the full STP for their area and the outcome of a formal consultation.

There has been very little involvement of BMBC elected members, General Practitioners and other clinical staff, patients, carers or the public in the development of the full 5 year SY& Bassetlaw STP.  Very few local people know what the STP includes for the future ‘sustainability’ of our local services here in Barnsley, and if we will continue to receive our  ‘care closer to home’.

This Branch/Constituency calls on all our Labour councillors to follow the example of these other councils to refuse to sign off the SY& Bassetlaw STP as it will result in:

  •  reduced local services for the population in this borough
  • hospital transfers when medical emergencies occur
  • the reduction of budget deficits rather than the development of better services