A British Medical Association investigation into the cost of funding Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) paints a very worrying picture with at least £9.5bn needed in capital funding across the country to successfully deliver the plans.
Sussex and East Surrey told NHS England that they would need an alarming £491.5m in capital funding in order to deliver these so called ‘transformation’ plans. This is on top of millions of pounds needed for a backlog of other repair work. With NHS budgets severely strained, funding from capital budgets is often used to prop up day-to-day running costs in the NHS. The reality of what is needed to implement “transformation” plans is unachievable if the government does not provide the long-term investment desperately needed.
The NHS and social system is at breaking point and the STP process could have offered a chance to deal with some of the problems facing that the NHS. But from its inception, this process was carried out largely behind closed doors, without proper consultation and input from those on the front line.
The plans are fast becoming completely unworkable and have instead revealed a health service that is unsustainable without urgent further investment, and with little capacity to ‘transform’ in any meaningful way other than by reducing the provision of services on a drastic scale.
Dr John MacKinnon
BMA South East regional council honorary secretary
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