Under instruction from the Government, new health proposals across England have been drawn up called Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs):
The STP for our area called “Our Healthier South East London” has now been published with the far greater detail requested by Lewisham Labour. We are worried about the severe funding cuts to the NHS which means the area faces a shortfall of nearly £1billion by 2020/21 if nothing changes.
This week the British Red Cross said the NHS faced a humanitarian crisis because the Tory government has systemically underfunded the NHS and cut over £4.6 Billion from social care in the last Parliament. To make South East London NHS STP a success it will need far more resources.
Lewisham Labour’s Chair of Scrutiny Cllr Alan Hall said: “When the British Red Cross is warning of a humanitarian crisis in our health service and even the head of the NHS says there is not enough money, you have to take notice. So I do not have any faith in the government as it is projected that adult social care will be underfunded by some £242 million across the six boroughs – Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham – annually by 2020-2021.
“However, we must evaluate the plans carefully and rigorously on behalf of the people of Lewisham and the rest of south east London. It is clear a partnership approach across the whole of Greater London is the right approach. No-one will argue with that. Higher quality and more integrated social care, acute care, elective care with specialist and mental health services is a good thing. But we have to make sure that we get it!
“The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign’s detailed report shows that they believe that the flawed financial modelling could ultimately threaten the future of the A&E again so you can be sure that we will crawl all over these plans wielding a fine toothcomb!”
Lewisham Council passed Cllr Alan Hall’s motion at the November 2016 Full Council. The text is here:
COUNCIL MOTION – Proposed by Cllr Alan Hall
NHS SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSFORMATION PLANS
“The Council welcomes the publication of South East London’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). The Council also notes:
- That there is a significant shortage of funds in the NHS and social care system
- That respected think tank The Kings Fund has publicly expressed its numerous concerns over the STP process including:
“Tight deadlines have made it difficult to secure meaningful involvement in the plans from key stakeholders, including patients and the public, local authorities, clinicians and other frontline staff.”
“Despite the focus on local ownership, key elements of the process have been ‘top-down’.”
“National requirements and deadlines for the plans have changed over time, and guidance for STP leaders has sometimes been inconsistent and often arrived late.”
Therefore, the Council resolves to:
- Request full publication of all associated documents and appendices
- Request pre decision scrutiny on changes to NHS and social care provision locally
- Require full public consultation on significant changes to any services
- Call on HM Government to provide the resources to fund good quality services across South East London and re-affirms its commitment to an Accident and Emergency Department on the Lewisham Hospital site