GP services among STP projects awarded a share of £325m new investment

Primary care hubs and urgent care GP services are among the sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) projects to have been awarded a share of £325m investment.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Capital funding announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday will support local projects in 15 areas of England.

The new funding was first announced by the chancellor in the March budget to help kick-start the most advanced projects arising from STP plans. The new money came amid fears that ambitious transformation plans could fail without new funding.

Among the projects to have been awarded new money are a Bedfordshire plan for a primary care hub on the site of a local hospital. The hub is expected to improve same-day access for 50,000 patients and reduced A&E attendances.

In Derbyshire, plans for an ‘urgent care village’ at the Royal Derby Hospital will include GP services as will as a frailty clinic and mental health services.

NHS transformation

Mr Hunt said: ‘This funding will support strong local plans to help the NHS modernise and transform care for patients.

‘A measure of success of these transformation partnerships is that people can see and feel improvements being made in their local area – there are already excellent examples of this across the country and this money will allow them to go further and faster.’

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘Today we’re firing the starting gun on the first wave of major service upgrades and care redesign which will benefit people living in counties, towns and cities across England. For patients it’ll mean easier GP appointments, modern A&Es, and better cancer and mental health care. For staff, we’re putting our money where our mouth is in backing these practical plans developed by doctors, nurses and local NHS leaders.

‘This is the first down payment of much needed investment in modern equipment and NHS facilities, with more promised in the autumn and beyond. Today is proof positive that when you back the NHS with investment, both patients and taxpayers see the practical benefits.’

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'The announcement of £325m of funding for some STPs is unlikely to go far enough to address the overwhelming pressures and estate needs of the NHS. We know that the plans need at least £9.5bn of total capital funding to be delivered successfully.

Health and social care cuts

'Millions of patients will be affected by hospital and bed closures under these so-called "transformation plans", which are a cover for delivering £26bn in cuts to health and social care. Much of the STP process has been carried out behind closed doors. Many patients wouldn’t even know what a ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’ even is, and would be horrified to learn that it could mean their local A&E being closed.

'This is why it is crucial that there is a full consultation with doctors, patients and the public on any changes in the plans. This is particularly important as there is no legal or clinical accountability within the STP process.'

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