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Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs)

Sustainability and transformation plans are one of the three ways integrated health and social care is being introduced at a local level in England. If you work as a member of nursing staff in England, you may well be working in a locality where an STP is being rolled out – find out more about them here.

What are sustainability and transformation plans (STPs)?

Sustainability and transformation plans were announced as part of the ongoing work around NHS England's Five Year Forward View

The aim of STPs is to bring local health and care leaders, organisations and communities together to develop plans for their localities (called ‘footprint’ areas) rather than focusing at the level of individual institutions. 

The STPs should set out how the footprint areas will achieve the Five Year Forward View’s aims of improved health and wellbeing, transformed quality of care delivery and sustainable finances, from October 2016 until March 2021.

Where the STPs will be

There are 44 STPs across England and they differ in terms of size of area and population figures – you can view a full listing of all the STPs on the NHS England website. Regional information on STPs is available here:

South East England
South West England
Eastern England
East Midlands
West Midlands
North West England

Information on developments in other regions of England will be available here soon.

How STPs will impact nursing staff

STPs should be written in partnership with clinicians, including nursing staff. Nursing staff must be actively involved and engaged in these plans from conception to delivery, to ensure they make full use of nursing skills and knowledge. 

Workforce productivity will be a priority and all providers will be expected to effectively use e-rostering to ensure their staff are in the right place at the right time to care for patients. This aims to reduce bureaucracy for nursing staff and other clinicians.  

How STPs will impact patients

Over the next 12 months, the STPs will look at a number of areas including:

  • quality in general practice
  • access standards for A&E and ambulance waits are met
  • no more than an 18 week wait from referral to treatment at hospital
  • the 62 day cancer wait standard
  • two new mental health access standards for referral and treatment
  • transforming care for people with learning disabilities.

The plans must also seek to improve health and wellbeing gaps within communities, and improve the quality of care delivered locally. Finances need to be given and attention given to how the plans will function alongside, and with, the new models of care.   

Integrated care in England

Find out more about the three ways integrated health and social care is set to be delivered in England and what it all means for you.