'Strongest' STPs receive £325m investment

Five pound note

Fifteen sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) will share in £325m of capital investment to take forward transformation projects.

The funding, announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief Simon Stevens on 19 July, has been targeted at the “strongest and most advanced schemes in STPs.”

The investment was secured in the Spring Budget in March. Further capital funding for the remaining STPs is expected in the Autumn Budget.

‘Small step in the right direction’

Commenting on the announcement, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said it is was a “small step in the right direction.”

“Given that the Conservatives have promised £10 billion of extra capital for the NHS in England, we should expect a much more serious capital injection in the Budget statement later this year.

"Capital is going to be needed as new and different services are developed, not least through investment in digital technology which will transform the way care is delivered.”

‘Mixed blessing’

In a statement, NHS England note that the strongest STPs have performed well across indicators in three broad areas: hospital performance, patient-focused change, and transformation. 

Rated in a progress dashboard, STPs are considered in nine domains: emergency care, elective care, safety, general practice, mental health, cancer, prevention, finance and system leadership.

“The decision to rate individual STPs is a mixed blessing,” Confed chief Niall Dickson commented.

“While there is a case for setting a baseline to measure future progress, we are concerned that the measures at this point must be relatively crude. 

“It may make sense to incentivise those who are most advanced, and set a baseline for future progress,  but it would be a mistake to stigmatise partnerships that are at an early stage in their development. 

“There will be good reasons why some areas are progressing more slowly and it's vital we give them the support they need, rather than point the finger.”

Find out more

Read the NHS Confederation’s full press statement and visit NHS England’s website to find out more about the investment.

Access the NHS Confederation’s briefing on the Spring Budget.

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