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North East Essex & Suffolk STP

Publication of sustainability and transformation plan

A bold plan on how all organisations involved in health and social care can work together differently across east and west Suffolk and north east Essex has been published today - see link below:
The NHS and social care have developed a large part of the plans based on what people have already shared, and accept that things have to be different to support a dwindling workforce, patients with more long term conditions and boost quality of services.

The plan is known as a sustainability and transformation plan (STP) and involves some 26 organisations in east and west Suffolk and north east Essex, including ambulance, hospitals, community services and social care.

Nick Hulme, who is leading the Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability and Transformation Plan said: "We are changing the way we work across health, social care and all public services so that we can make sure that by 2021 the one million people who live in this area will have healthier, happier lives and are better supported to look after their own wellbeing.

"The ambitious parts of our plans are to replace competition with collaboration, look at improving care and quality at a broader scale, boosting the workforce and doing all of this quickly. If we can work together to do things like raising education levels and improving information to support people to look after themselves that will set families across north east Essex and east and west Suffolk on the road to a better future," he added.

The challenges facing health and care organisations are set out very clearly in the plan and include:

-Demand on family doctors. More people than ever before are going to see their family doctors and nurses.  Around 90 per cent of care is given by our family doctors in the NHS – but many are reaching retirement age. Too few new or potential recruits want to come to north east Essex and east and west Suffolk to work. 

-Record numbers of people living with long term health conditions. People with long-term conditions, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis and hypertension, account for around 50% of all GP appointments. The numbers of people with three or more long-term conditions is rising, and we expect there will be 45,000 in north east Essex and east and west Suffolk by 2018.

-The cost of treatment. In 2016, north east Essex and east and west Suffolk will spend £2.4 billion on health and care. The costs of drugs, treatments and overheads have all gone up, and will do so again.
The pressure on finances is also highlighted. If we continue spending money on services as we are, there will be a £248 million overspend in five years' time.

Cllr Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, said: "Suffolk County Council is working collaboratively with the health and social care sector in providing high quality services that are closer to home. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan is an opportunity to design and deliver services in a more integrated way and we are looking forward to working with all of our partners in delivering this."

Sam Hepplewhite, chief officer, NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said:"We are fully committed to ensuring local people have access to quality health and social care services.  We are all working closely together in order to transform health and social care services and to ensure these are affordable in the future. As we go on we look forward to engaging with all of our stakeholders in this planning process and I am sure there will be many who will have a lot to say and a lot to contribute."

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: "This plan outlines how, by working together, health and care organisations aim to tackle the very real issues which have been developing over the years. As a practicing GP for the last 20 years, I see more and more people living longer, but with long term health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. Long term health conditions account for around 50% of GP appointments.

"Major changes are needed to reduce illness and deteriorating health, to support communities and deliver care closer to people's homes.  By keeping people fitter and healthier for longer and improving the quality of care through more effective collaboration we can overcome the challenges we face."