NHS reform: What is a sustainability and transformation plan (STP)?

Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) will be developed across the NHS from 2016/17 with the goal of building services around local areas, rather than institutions.

NHS England has created 44 STP areas - or 'footprints' - each of which brings together five CCGs on average, covering populations of between 1m and 2m people. The groups will incorporate all health and care systems within each area.

Each area's STP will set out how the local system will improve health and wellbeing for the population, improve service quality and deliver financial stability and balance.

Podcast: find out what STPs mean for GPs

STPs are intended to help ensure services are joined up and planned across local areas rather than around institutions. The plans will set out how services will evolve and deliver the NHS’s Five Year Forward View. Local health systems are specifically required to plan for sustainable general practice and improve primary care infrastructure.

The GP Forward View published last week said that the STP process would lead to additional local investment for general practice.

Each STP area is led by a senior responsible officer (SRO), responsible for convening and chairing system-wide meetings and facilitating conversations necessary to secure a shared vision and plan, according to NHS England.

There are four GPs among the 44 STP SROs. Other SROs include NHS trust chief executives, council chief executives and social care directors.

Photo: iStock

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