The NHS Shared Planning Guidance asked every local health and care system in England to come together to create their own ambitious local plan, these blueprints are known as STPs. England has been divided into 44 “footprints” and in Yorkshire and the Humber region there are three.
Glenn Turp explained: "Our first priority at the RCN is always to our members and patients and we hope and expect that any changes to services and staff roles will be in the best interests of patients and be based on enabling the delivery of quality of care – not just financially driven.
"So far it looks as though all the plans involve massive reductions in budgets across the board – is this simply down to better working together and sharing of resources or is it just to make savings? We can’t know the answers to these important questions unless we are able to fully engage in the planning process.
"It is staggering that plans which will so fundamentally change the NHS have so far been developed almost in secret. These are plans that will affect the delivery of care to patients. At the moment it is impossible to say with certainty if the plans are a good or bad idea but we do know that any planning done without proper involvement of the public and staff groups, including trade unions, is flawed and highly likely to fail.
"Current employers within each STP area must involve their local staff side and ensure that the voice of staff is heard in this process.
"STPs are looking at how to address financial shortfalls whilst maintaining the same level of service – a seemingly impossible task."
Please let us know your thoughts on this important issue. You can get in touch with our regional office by email Yorkshire.firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you have concerns around how these plans will impact on your own workplace then ring RCN Direct on 0345 7726100 in the first instance for advice.