What do we think is going on?
Major plans are in train for a re-organisation of NHS services across England. These fall under the banner of 44 Sustainability and Transormation Plans (STPs) with ours covering South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. Some of the intentions sound good and the outline Sheffield Plan predates the STP structure as Sheffield Health Services struggle to find an ethical and achievable way forward. But the bottom line is that within 5 year the STP is supposed to deliver a funding reduction of 14.6 % across the NHS and social care. Read the Five Year Forward View for NHS England here.
This is not acceptable and resistance is building across the country as more and more Councils refuse to sign up to the STPs if they involve this amount of funding reduction, not just in Sheffield but across South Yorkshire. Sheffield Council has indicated that it may be among them.
Some of the plans will be subject to formal consultation and debate with the public. It's important that people take part and give their views. An outline of the local STP was published on the South and Mid Yorkshire Commissioners Working Together website. Read more about STPs using our Useful Links.
Meanwhile we know that NHS staff are under more and more strain as a result of efficiency pressures, shortage of resources and the demand on the service. There can be no NHS without staff who care for it and are in turn cared for. We have supported the junior doctors because we think they have been unfairly treated and because the increasing pressure on staff at all levels, from clinicians to adminsitrative and support workers, is taking its toll not just on individuals but the NHS as a whole.
Sheffield Save Our NHS will be continuing to campaign hard locally to hold back any further fragmentation and privatisation of the NHS. We don't think the current CCG or Council leadership want to go down this road but there are many pressures, especially in social care.