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07 October 2016

There is a song by Abba “Money, Money, Money”. This week has been all about money, control totals and where we can get to by March 2016.

The week culminates with a meeting with NHS England Regional Director to explain where we will get to. “Go on tell me what's happened?” I hear you say. Unfortunately I can't yet because this note is being written on Thursday evening prior to that meeting. I will be able to tell you more on this next week.

Planning for the future

This week the party political conference season came to an end with the Conservative party’s conference in Birmingham. I was listening to the radio a couple of times this week and heard many interesting proposals from MPs about how things would be better for lots more people and it got me thinking. I wonder how many ideas truly get delivered? I wonder how many ideas put forward are realistic options in the time frame of a party having the power to make changes? How many of the ideas have real support and can carry the public with them? You might wonder where this is going. Well STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) actually.

On the 21 October we, alongside the other 43 STP areas across England, will submit our next version of the plan. In this, we will make a number of suggestions about how we think we can make health and care services work better for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent patients. We hope they are realistic and we must ensure they are supported. We must make them relevant to local people and get buy-in to evolve the health and social care services together so they are sustainable for our future and that of future generations to come.

It is clear that STPs are seen as the vehicle for turning round the NHS. In Staffordshire we have made a good start but that start now needs to turn into plans for delivery that we can talk to the public about with a level of realism. We must also work on the challenge of organisational agendas versus system agendas. STPS require us to put organisations to one side but how do we do this when all the performance focus is on individual organisations? Time will tell…

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