Across England, NHS and social care organisations have been encouraged by NHS England to work closely together to deliver more effective, joined-up and affordable services that can continue to meet the needs of the population now and in the future.
- The country has been divided into 44 ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ (STP) areas, each of which has been asked to produce an improvement plan for the next five years. Our Hertfordshire and west Essex STP area serves 1.5 million people – and faces challenges familiar to everyone working in health and social care:
- An ageing population and increasing numbers of people with long-term conditions
- Difficulties in recruiting and retaining the skilled staff we need
- Avoidable ill health caused by unhealthy lifestyles
- Health and care systems and technology that don’t work together effectively
- Variations in care models
- An over-reliance on acute hospital services
- Buildings that are not fit for purpose
- A widening gap between the funding we receive and the increasing demand we need to meet.
Our area’s STP is available on the Healthier Future website and includes some of the excellent examples of good practice that West Essex CCG has helped to put in place which are already making positive differences to the health and wellbeing of the people we serve.
This is the coming together of the vision we’ve developed with local residents and staff in west Essex over the last three years. We have already been advancing our programmes and services to provide care closer to home and in a much more integrated way with our council colleagues. Our neighbourhood programme sees primary, acute, community, mental health and the voluntary sector working together in a much more intuitive way and our operational plan has the detail of how we begin to deliver this over the next two years.
Many of the best ideas for improvements come from you - our valued staff - and our patients, but as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan is developed and discussed, we will be actively seeking your views and expertise to make our ambition to create a healthier Hertfordshire and west Essex a reality. I would like to encourage you to read the plan, tell us what you think and look out for events where you will be able to share your views.