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NHS England reveals leaders for change

CCG, Trust and council leads will plan locally for NHS sustainability and transformation

Louise Prime

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

NHS England has confirmed the identities of the new senior leaders of sustainability and transformation planning in the 44 ‘footprint areas’ for England. The leaders – who come from clinical commission groups (CCGs), hospitals and other care providers, and local authorities – will be tasked with improving health, care and finances in their local areas over the next five years, as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View.

NHS England has also published the map of the footprint areas, whose boundaries it said had been decided by frontline leaders looking at what was most locally appropriate. As a result, the populations they incorporate vary from as low as 300,000 (West, North and East Cumbria) up to nearly three million people (Greater Manchester). Many of the boundaries coincide with county boundaries; there are five local areas within London.

The new approach is aimed at ensuring that health and care services are planned by place rather than solely around individual institutions, and over a period of five years rather than just a single year. At the heart of this are the design and delivery of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), which must show clearly how each area will pursue the “triple aim” set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View – improved health and wellbeing, transformed quality of care delivery, and sustainable finances.

NHS Confederation chief executive Rob Webster commented: “The STP process signals a change in approach to planning that is very welcome – from organisation to place and from short-term survival to medium-term sustainability. We welcome the announcement of the footprints for planning and the emerging list of STP leaders. The key now will be to provide a robust package of support for all 44 leaders to be able to work in partnership across their local systems.”

He went on: “National bodies have an important role to play in supporting and enabling local leaders to foster critical local relationships that will determine the fate of these plans. What must be avoided is excessive control from the centre, which would stifle local ambition to transform local health and care services.” He said the new leaders must be given the freedom, flexibility and support to drive forward the service changes that best fits their local areas.

GP Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, who is chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG and co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, has been revealed as the leader of Lancashire and South Cumbria footprint. She said: “I am very pleased to be working with my colleagues … as we draw up our plans to make sure that health services in our area rise to the challenges set out in the Five Year Forward View.

“I am very conscious that my role is only one of many that will be needed if we are to secure sustainable services and I don’t underestimate the task that we have ahead of us. I am looking forward to the opportunity to see how other areas are tackling the same sorts of issues that we face – I am sure that there is much that we can learn from one another.”

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