Sussex & East Surrey Sustainability & Transformation Partnership (STP)

The Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) brings together 24 organisations involved in the planning and provision of health and care services across the region.

This includes CCGs, acute hospital trusts, mental health, community services, and local authorities.

Together they are focused on how the NHS and social care can work together to improve and join-up services to meet the changing needs of all of the people who live in our area. 

As our population grows, and grows older, we need more health care and different services. Some of the services we have now, were not designed to meet the needs of today or the future and do not make the most of medical advances.

We want to do more to prevent illness, support people to manage existing health conditions and to stay independent. To do this we need seamless health and social care services.

The STP is a partnership and a new way of working. It ensures that all the health and care organisations in Sussex and East Surrey are working together in a joined-up way.

One of our priorities is to develop more community-based services, helping people to stay well closer to home. This will reduce demand on our hospitals, enabling them to improve their specialist services.

Working together in this way means that we can offer local people better care and better outcomes and make more efficient use of the resources available to us.

Progress so far

In November 2016, we published our ambitions for improving health and care for local people.

We need to radically change the way we work if we are to successfully address the challenges we face. There has been a strong focus on developing the relationships and the processes for working together in this new way.

We have also established a clinical board, bringing together senior doctors, nurses, public health experts and other care professionals from all the partner organisations to oversee the development of health and care services.

The STP partners have agreed three priority areas for collective action to improve services, supporting any work that is already happening locally:

  • Urgent and emergency care
  • Mental health
  • Cancer care

In order to deliver our aspirations for improved health and care, and the most efficient use of resources, we are also coordinating our approach through the STP to workforce development, information technology and estates.

STP focus on Mental Health

Earlier this year, our STP commissioned a review of how mental health services are planned, commissioned, funded and delivered in our area. The aim was to help determine how the voluntary sector, local authorities and NHS can work better together to meet the needs of the patients, carers, families and local communities we serve.

The review was carried out with the involvement of all partners and involved clinicians, patients and carers, and found that the outcomes experienced by local people with mental health problems are often poor, crisis care in particular could be much better.  The review has also identified a wide range of opportunities for addressing these challenges and for making real improvements to services and wellbeing for local people. This review highlights the need for real changes in the ways that mental health services are commissioned and provided and working together in partnership through the STP offers us the best chance to achieve this.

Read the report

Clinically Effective Commissioning

The CCGs in Sussex are working together as part of a review to standardise the non-emergency treatments and procedures available to patients across the region.

The review, led by local GPs, hospital doctors and other specialists, will ensure that services offered to patients meet the latest guidelines from national experts and deliver value for money for the NHS budget.

Read more about this work.

Coastal Care

The local plan for Coastal West Sussex within the STP plan is called Coastal Care.

Coastal Care brings together health and care partners in the local area to work better together to improve the services that are available to meet people’s health and social care needs, now and in future.

It includes a focus on urgent care, care for the frail and ageing within our communities, and how we prevent ill-health and help people to stay well.

Closing the gap in our finances

Like all parts of the health and care system, demand for our services is growing much faster than the resources we have available. 

If we simply carry on providing services in the way we have in the past and do nothing to change the way we work, then by 2020/21 the gap between the resources available and the money we will have spent across the STP will be close to £900m.

That is why we make take the opportunity of the partnership to work together to make the best use of the available resources.

We believe that integrated and community-based health and social care, a focus on supporting people to stay well, more joined-up specialist services and a more effective use of our hospitals will enable us to offer people better health and better services within the available resources.

In addition, we are working together to ensure that every penny of the health and care budget is well spent. For example, reducing the reliance on expensive bank and agency staff, back-office costs, and the cost of ineffective treatments and wasted medicines.

Involvement and accountability

The STP is a partnership and a way of working. It has no powers to make decisions on behalf of the individual partner organisations. These powers continue to sit with each partner organisations’ board.

Partner organisations also remain responsible for involving their local communities, patients, the public, staff and clinicians in their plans and decision-making. The plans that make up the STP do not currently include any proposals to change clinical services that will require formal consultation. But we have a lot more work to do. In the months ahead we will be doing more to involve staff, patients, carers and others in this work.

Programme Board

The Programme Board sets the direction and priorities for the STP. It includes the chief officers or accountable officers of the eight CCGs, chief executives of the 12 NHS trusts and other providers, and the chief executives of the four local authorities within our partnership.