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South East Education Network

Integrated care

Integrated care has become a key focus of reform in England as a response to a need to deliver further efficiency savings. Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and devolution are part of a number of wide range of new initiatives to develop and deliver integrated care.

Read the RCN's position statement, published in January 2018.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans

STPs set out how each area is intending to reform health and social care services to meet future demands and financial pressures.  In effect, STPs are local responses to the NHS £30bn funding gap.  This is the difference between funds needed to maintain current NHS services, and what the Government is proposing to spend by 2020/21.

STPs outline how local savings will be achieved. On average, each STP area must make provision for saving around £450m by 2020/21.

There are seven STPs across the South East region.

Common themes in the plans:

  • move care to local communities and social care
  • more integration of health and social care
  • review specialised services
  • prevention, proactive care and personal responsibility

Read the South East region plans:

View a list of all STPs on the NHS England website.

STPs and the RCN

We're concerned that without extra funding to ensure there is sufficient provision to realise 'the right care in the right place at the right time' aspiration of the plans, there is a risk they will not deliver their intended outcomes for patients and service users. 

The implementation timescale for STPs, which will see plans agreed and up and running by April 2017, have meant that plans have been developed in isolation and secrecy.  The RCN believes that there must be meaningful engagement and proper consultation with staff, patients and the local communities that use services.

Our view:-

  • We will not support anything that compromises patient care
  • Nurses and workforce are crucial to safe staffing
  • Money savings must not be the main driver
  • Essential community services and social care must be properly funded
  • Nursing staff must be consulted

Get involved

Help shape and influence your local STP or raise issues of concern:

Vanguard sites

There are five vanguard types:

Integrated primary and acute care systems – joining up GP, hospital, community and mental health services.

North East Hampshire and Farnham
My Life A Full Life: Isle of Wight

Multispecialty community providers – moving specialist care out of hospitals into the community

Encompass (Whitstable, Faversham and Canterbury)
Better Local Care (Southern Hampshire)

Enhanced health in care homes – offering older people better, joined up health, care and rehabilitation services (none in the South)

Urgent and emergency care – new approaches to improve the coordination of services and reduce pressure on A&E departments (none in the South)

Acute care collaborations – they aim to link local hospitals together to improve their clinical and financial viability.

Foundation Healthcare Group (Dartford and Gravesham)

Networks and Forums

Find out more about Networks and Forums in the Royal College of Nursing.