Northamptonshire’s health and social care organisations have today published their five year plan to reshape and improve the way that care is delivered within the region.
‘Northamptonshire’s Sustainability And Transformation Plan 2016-2021: How We Will Support Local People To Flourish’ has been produced by Northamptonshire’s NHS and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). Healthwatch Northamptonshire, Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, the new GP Federations, and other local organisations involved in providing care in the region have all inputted into the development of the proposed plan.
John Wardell, Senior Responsible Officer, Northamptonshire STP Programme and Accountable Officer for Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, explains why this review of the whole health and social care system is necessary:
“We need to work together to ensure that all health and social care services are financially sustainable so that in the future we can continue to deliver high-quality care for the people of Northamptonshire.
The Northamptonshire footprint is a varied one. Our region has a mix of urban and rural with significant population growth predicted. The health and social care system as it is simply won’t be able to cope with the increased demands that will come in the future. Our STP provides us with an opportunity to get involved in the renewal of our health and social care system and secure its future.”
Tansi Harper, STP Board Chair is a lay member on the Board:
“As a member of the public and a service user in Northamptonshire, I feel incredibly privileged to be part of this process. It is a fantastic opportunity to make sure that any changes to our healthcare system truly reflect the needs of our community and will make a positive difference to the care that we experience.”
Northamptonshire’s NHS is currently running a deficit of £41million. If nothing is done to address the current challenges, the local NHS gap alone could be £230million by 2020/21.
Paul Blantern, Chief Executive at NCC, speaks about why these significant figures need to be addressed now:
“All of the health and social care leaders in Northamptonshire recognise that there is a significant financial deficit which we cannot address alone. Working together to join up the service user experience makes sense as we can avoid duplication in this system and provide a higher quality of care. We genuinely believe that the STP is the best solution to ensuring health and social care success for our local economy in the future.”
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) delivers community and mental health services. Through the STP, community services will deliver more care than before and will join together with other teams (including NCC) to provide a range of integrated services.
Angela Hillery, Chief Executive at NHFT explains why this proposal will benefit local people.
"Our integrated community and mental health care services are focused on helping our citizens to keep well and manage their care needs when they arise. We are really looking forward to working with our partners in new ways, using all of our assets, to help people to keep well, manage crisis and help manage the increasing demand on our emergency services. Building on productive working with GPs and the voluntary sector will be key to this".
Part of the STP focuses on the urgent care system and what the proposed changes may mean for Northamptonshire’s acute hospitals.
Dr Sonia Swart, Chief Executive of Northampton General Hospital, said: “It is important that we place a greater emphasis on people staying healthy, and provide earlier support and intervention for people who are unwell. In that way we could reduce emergency admissions and A&E attendances. Not only would this would be better for patients, it would also make better use of our resources at a time when we all face considerable pressure on services and funding.”
Clare Culpin Acting Chief Executive Officer of Kettering General Hospital added: “the STP is incredibly important for Northamptonshire. It describes how different health and social care organisations can and will work together to provide better, more joined-up care for our patients in an appropriate setting. We are already working in partnership with our colleagues at Northampton General Hospital in delivering integrated shared pathways of care for some patient groups and the STP supports the direction of travel we are working on.”
The STP describes the changes but the detail is yet to be worked out and finalised. John Wardell explains why: “A lot needs to happen in the next five years in order to develop a sustainable system that works for all who use it and work within it. This document presents a first look at where we need to get to and the health and social care community’s ideas about how we will achieve that.
"At this stage it is too early to say what that may mean for staff or what the services may look like to the patients who will access them, but the STP is a collaborative process. We need the people of Northamptonshire to take part in the consultation process over the next few years, so that we can make sure that the future of health and social care in Northamptonshire meets the needs of the people who will use it.”
To view the STP documents, click here.
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