Approximately £9.5 billion of capital funding will be needed to fully realise Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), an analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) has revealed.
The controversial plans comprise 44 proposals in England aiming to prevent ill health, join up services and deliver care closer to home. However, according to the BMA’s investigation into 36, nearly £10 billion will be needed just to create the infrastructure to deliver the projects, due to building projects and investment in community facilities that the plans are contingent on.
‘From the very beginning this process was carried out in near secrecy by rushed health and social care leaders trying to develop impossible plans for the future while struggling to keep the NHS from the brink of collapse,’ said BMA council chair Mark Poynton. ‘The clinicians who are expected to deliver this flawed revolution were not engaged and many staff have had little or no involvement.'
As part of NHS England’s to reduce costs, each part of England was asked to draw up a plan in 2016 in order to make savings of £26bn by 2020/21. The Department of Health was given an annual allocation for investment and infrastructure of £4.8bn from 2016/17 to 2020/21, less than half of the funds required to realise the STPs.
‘While the aspirations of STPs may be admirable, the lack of any financial commitment from the Government is their Achilles heel, said Tom Sandford, the RCN director of England. ‘We remain concerned these plans will be used to make savings, and short-term cuts to hospital beds and community services will be made without any plans for the long-term change envisaged by NHS England.’