Thursday, 2 March 2017

STPs are not 'plans' they are fanciful ideas

The STPs are behind schedule, lack any significant popular public support, and as they stand will not deliver the results they promise.

The incoherent and inconsistent series of 44 'STP' documents that have been published since the end of October 2016 have clearly fallen far short of NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens’ hopes a year ago.

Most offer no viable or sustainable plans for staffing or management of the ‘innovative’ proposals to divert services away from hospitals, resulting in the services proposed being unsustainable.

There’s virtually no capital available from NHS England to finance any serious transformation; in many of the STP documents the numbers simply don’t add up, and there is little or no evidence that some of their key proposals can work in practice. Many lack any financial detail, and almost none of them have any worked-through practical plan for implementation (1).

Even the CCGs and its providers have asked us, as campaigners, for advice on how best to get around the problems thrown at them without incurring the huge financial penalties and of course the wrath of the public.

STPs are not 'plans', they are fanciful ideas with no evidence-base and do not take into account all the risks associated with major healthcare transformation. They are effectively documents that toy with ideas that could and would result in lowering of patient care and even many many deaths.

NHS England have been trialling some of the STP models in areas around England called vanguard areas'. They avoid the words 'trial' and 'pilot schemes' since they attempt to fool the public into believing the vanguards have some evidence-base in place. They haven't.

They are being rolled out on a suck it and see basis, a series of trial and error schemes that could fail at any stage without any prior risk assessment or consideration for equality laws. As such there is no bail out if things go wrong, apart from the Private Healthcare Sector waiting in the wings to take over public services. This is what we are fighting against, people willing to play with our lives, and care little when things go wrong.

The proposed care pathways in the Five year forward view, the blueprint document STPs are based on, are not new. 

For example 'prevention'. We'd all like help and advice to prevent ourselves from becoming ill, but it needs to be voluntary, not forced;

we need a welfare system that's fair and does not force people into poverty and thus ill-health.

The prevention espoused in the STPs is 'forced prevention' due to the very nature of rationing medical treatment and withholding medicines from the poor and needy in our society.

Although there's been much secrecy around the STP and their hidden agenda, the overall objective is to de-couple the more lucrative routine hospital services and place them into community clinics to enable the private sector to share the profits. It really is that simple.

Anything else, such as Integrating some NHS services with social services and the use of telecare* in old folks homes are a smokescreen as these are not contentious, and if funded properly, are unnecessary in the first instance.
*a webcam in a care home relaying sound and images to a healthcare practitioner

When funded properly, local authority social services have no problem in alleviating hospital bed blocking since they've always found places for re-ablement and after care in the patients own home or care home.

All this nonsense about patients not knowing which services are where and not being properly signposted is just that, another smokescreen to allow the private healthcare sector into the NHS.

After all, Lord Carter, of the Carter Review fame mentioned in many STPs, owns a string of private residential care homes. If you're in any doubt about how the private sector are waiting to take over the integrated health & social care model look no further than those who influenced the Five year forward view, the blueprint document all STPs are based on.

Oh and by the way, Lord Carter is a Labour peer currently advising the boss of NHS England on STPs, who was previously a Labour Councillor and health policy advisor to Tony Blair.

Money is the root of all evil and the most evil have no allegiance, no conscience, and no soul.

Although this is quite a long post, I think I've just summed up all Tory MPs in the single sentence above. 


(1) Centre for Health & the Public Interest

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