Right at the start of the process STPs – Sustainability and Transformation Plans - were shrouded in secrecy. You couldn’t read a plan if you wanted to, but slowly the plans were leaked and later formally published so we could read them in all their glory.
But what did we find when we read them? In all honesty we were none the wiser after reading some of them. They are huge plans, full of fancy graphics but woefully lacking in the detail we wanted.
All of the STPs are tasked with saving millions of pounds as it is clear that if the health services remain static then deficits will just grow. How they make these cost savings, at a time when everything already feels stretched, is yet to be seen.
Some contained downright scary mentions of using a “generic workforce” (Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire) while most set out aspirational plans that are so epic and without any budgetary analysis, it’s hard to envisage how they might pan out.
We have seven plans that cover the South East region (you can find out what they are here) and our Officers have scoured the plans for their area and are in the process of meeting with the plan leads. These conversations are still in the early stages as we work hard to convince the STP leaders of the merits of working with us, rather than potentially against us at a later stage. We want to ensure that however the plans develop, that you, our members are protected.
We are clear that our role is to be an advocate for nursing and to ensure that the nursing workforce has a voice as these changes start across the region.