Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP)

A wide-ranging plan to improve health and care in Hertfordshire and West Essex, making sure that services are affordable for years to come, was published on Monday, 12 December 2016. The five-year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Hertfordshire and West Essex, called A Healthier Future, sets out the challenges and opportunities facing NHS and care services across the area. The local plan is one of 44 currently being developed across the country.

About £3.1 billion a year is spent on health and social care in Hertfordshire and West Essex. Rising demand is leading to an increasing gap between funding and the amount needed to pay for services. NHS and care organisations are taking collective action to address this gap. If no action is taken, the funding gap could increase to £550 million a year by 2021.

Challenges facing Hertfordshire and West Essex include:
·         a 37% predicted increase in the population of over-75s in the next 10 years. More older people and people living with long-term conditions means higher care costs
·         obesity, smoking, alcohol and not enough exercise are all causing health problems
·         difficulty in recruiting and retaining doctors, nurses and care staff due to high living costs
·         too many patients are admitted to hospital, or stay in hospital for longer than necessary
·         health and care systems and technology don’t always work together effectively
·         some buildings are not fit for purpose.
A Healthier Future sets out the four main ways in which NHS health and care organisations plan to improve health and care in the area, within the funds available:
·         helping people to live healthier lives, avoiding preventable illnesses
·         improving the health and care services offered at home or in local communities
·         using hospital care for specialist and emergency treatments only
·         improving the efficiency of health and care services.

The STP with the full detail is available to view online http://www.healthierfuture.org.uk. We would strongly encourage you to take a look when you have some time.