Health Select Committee launches inquiry into Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs)

Monday, 10 April 2017 - 5:40pm

The Health Select Committee has launched an inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and has published a call for evidence. 

Cutout house on a pile of books

STPs were introduced in 2016/17 as a key part of the planning process for the health and care system. In recognition of the fact that the current challenges and funding pressures across health and social care cannot be solved in isolation, the STPs were introduced to drive integration and encourage local partners to work together to address these issues. NHS services, commissioners, local authorities and other partners should come together to develop plans, based on local need, to achieve the key ambitions of the Five Year Forward View for the NHS, including better health outcomes, transformations in how care is delivered and financial sustainability.

There are 44 STP areas (called ‘footprints’) across England and they have all now published their plans. A recent publication from the NHS outlining the next steps for the Five Year Forward View, highlights the continuing importance of these plans in achieving what the report describes as the ‘biggest national move to integrated care of any Western country’.

Despite this drive for integration, housing remains a key omission from many of the plans. While many make reference to housing as one of a number of wider factors affecting health, very few lay out specific plans to better integrate housing, health and care. STPs are also supposed to be vehicles for addressing health inequalities in local populations, but there is little mention, if any, of the significantly poorer health outcomes for people who are homeless in the plans.

Due to the General Election, this inquiry has been closed and we do not yet know if it will be reopened after the election. However, Homeless Link is planning work on STPs in the coming months so would still be interested in any information you might be able to share.

The Health Select Committee is asking a number of questions as part of its inquiry, but one of the key questions is how effective STPs have been in joining up health and social and in engaging partners outside the acute healthcare sector, including local authorities, public health, mental health and voluntary sector. We would be really interested in hearing from members who have been involved in any aspect of their local STPs, or have any insight into how housing and homelessness has been reflected in local discussions. Please contact, Paula Reid on by Thursday 4th May, if you have anything you would like to share. We will also be reviewing the STPs on their content around housing and homelessness, as part of our submission to the inquiry. 

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Paula Reid

Paula Reid

Policy manager

Paula is policy manager at Homeless Link and leads on the Supported Housing Alliance.