NHS: Plans are unworkable

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A BMA investigation into the cost of funding Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) in the NHS paints a worrying picture, with at least £9.5bn needed in capital funding across the country.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear told NHS England it would require £76.6m in capital funding to deliver these 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.

The reality of what is needed to implement the plans is unachievable if the government does not provide the long-term investment needed.

The NHS and social system is at breaking point. The STP process could have offered a chance to deal with some of the problems. 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 becoming unworkable and have 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 services on a drastic scale.

Dr George Rae

Chairman BMA North East Regional Council