Hospital Dr News

£325m investment in STPs must be the start of a larger programme of support

The government are providing £325m of capital investment to support Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) across the country.

Speaking at the King’s Fund, the Health Secretary gave the green light to local capital investment schemes in 15 areas of the country, with the largest sums being used for urgent care in Dorset, surgery in Greater Manchester and cancer care in Cumbria.

This initial tranche of funding has been targeted at the strongest and most advanced schemes in STPs, the government said.

The plans include:

  • In Greater Manchester, up to £50m will be made available to help hospitals deliver significant improvements in urgent and emergency care by concentrating services in four hub sites across the city, expected to save around 300 lives each year in general surgery alone.
  • In Cumbria, £30m to £50m will be used to improve access to chemo and radiotherapy by establishing a brand new cancer centre, complete with new equipment at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
  • In Derbyshire, up to £30m will be invested to create an ‘Urgent Care Village’ at the Royal Derby with GP services, a frailty clinic and mental health services to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place, first time, and avoid going to A&E unnecessarily.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This funding will support strong local plans to help the NHS modernise and transform care for patients.

“A measure of success of these transformation partnerships is that people can see and feel improvements being made in their local area – there are already excellent examples of this across the country and this money will allow them to go further and faster.”

Health commentators and representatives welcomed the extra money but said it was just a fraction of investment required.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “This is a small step in the right direction. Given that the Conservatives have promised £10 billion of extra capital for the NHS in England, we should expect a much more serious capital injection in the Budget statement later this year.

“We also welcome this endorsement of the STPs – they will be critical in changing the way care is delivered all over England.

“Capital is going to be needed as new and different services are developed, not least through investment in digital technology which will transform the way care is delivered.”

Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, added: “For STPs to be successful, capital funding is needed to support the transformation of health and care services. This announcement is very welcome, and should be seen as a first instalment of the much larger capital investment promised in the Budget and by the Prime Minister in the election campaign.”

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