Our NHS needs to adapt to keep looking after a changing society.
But the government’s “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” are being forced through without enough time or money. Staff and the public are being left out of the conversation and given little say over the end result.
Although the vision behind many parts of the plans is one we support – of joined-up services providing more care in the community – the current speed and lack of funding means the plans are virtually unachievable achievable and will end up hurting people who need NHS services.
We are bringing together an alliance of health workers, patients, and communities, calling on the government to make these plans open, properly funded, and run at a realistic pace.
STPs and the local elections
On Thursday 4 May 2017, elections to councils are being held in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire.
All of these councils have an important role in the STPs.
- Councils are the only democratically elected part of the STPs
- Social care and public health are council responsibilities. Better healthcare cannot be delivered without them
- They have unique links to other social services that form part of a healthy life
To help people be better informed about health issues in the local elections, UNISON has sent a letter to councillors in Somerset and Dorset asking them a series of questions about their role in the STPs:
- Do you recognise that the lack of significant additional funding for the NHS places Somerset’s STP at risk of failure?
- As a councillor, will you actively be making the case for new models of care to be fully tested and up and running alongside existing provision of local health services, prior to such services being reduced or withdrawn as part of reconfiguration plans?
- Will you work to ensure that the emerging Accountable Care Organisation in Somerset commissions existing and new health services on the basis of the NHS as the preferred provider, and on the basis of a fully integrated and public owned system of health and social care?