NHS Long Term Plan Announcement

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07 Jan 2019
Before Brexit kicks off again, on Westminster’s return this week we had the long-awaited ‘NHS Long Term Plan’. So during his Commons statement (while the PM was hogging the headlines), I asked the new Secretary of State Matt Hancock this simple, polite, matter-of-fact question

‘When it was finally submitted in October, 2017, our local ‘Sustainability & Transformation Plan’ (STP) projected an annual deficit in health and social care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent of £542m by 2020/21.’

‘That was more than double the £250m projected at the time of the 2015 general election.’
‘And, showing the scale of the problems, there are over 40 such ‘STPs’ across England as a whole.’

‘So I would like to ask the Secretary of State to write to me to put some numbers on how this Long Term Plan will help our local STP with the extra revenue and investment needed to transform services, so that we do not face a litany of unsustainable cuts, notwithstanding, in the immediate years to come?’.

In reply, the SoS (an apt acronym...) said we’d find out the local funding allocations in the next few days. That was good to hear, as the LTP - as it will forever be known, until the next one - is rather short on meaningful numbers.

You can watch my question to the Secretary of State here

But it rather missed the point, as these STPs cover areas which are a) badly run or b) most likely, underfunded or c) in some places, both. Oh, and d) are most likely to have been clobbered the most since the election in 2010.

So we’ll see over the next few days if the ‘local allocation’ is more than a drop in the ‘local ocean’. Anyone holding their breath??

And there’s also one big hole already in the bow of HMS ‘LT NHS Plan’ - where are the extra staff - carers, nurses, doctors - coming from? So, under-water right from the off??