10 things you should know about your local health and care plan

A guide to the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP)
What’s happening in the next five years and a chance to have your say.

Every area in the country is working on a “sustainability and transformation plan (STP)” for health and care over the next five years. In summary the Mid and South Essex STP plans to:

  • Invest in innovation and expertise that can help people stay well for longer
  • Join services together to provide more care closer to people and where they live
  • Redesign our hospitals to meet rising demands with the best quality emergency and specialist care, for everyone who needs it

The plan is for public discussion over the next few months before sign off next year. Proposed service changes are subject to national checks and public consultation in 2017.

The Mid and South Essex STP brings together the following partners:

  • Five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) – Basildon and Brentwood CCG, Castle Point and Rochford CCG, Mid Essex CCG, Southend CCG and Thurrock CCG
  • One county and two unitary authorities – Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council
  • Eight main provider trusts
  • 183 GP practices
Health and care in the past was all about treating illness.
Health and care in the future is all about staying well.


Developments over the next five years will build a network of services in your local community that focus on:

  • Using technology to stay well
  • A wider range of services with more time for you
  • Managing long term conditions and the problems of old age
  • Urgent care when you need it

The plans in our STP to develop self-care, prevention and local services are based on national evidence of good practice and innovation in other parts of the country. From this we have been able to calculate how new ways of care and early treatment could affect the way we use hospital services.

Mental health problems are often the cause of physical illness and people with physical illnesses frequently suffer from mental health problems. With one in four people likely to experience some form of mental health problem, there is great potential to improve health and quality of life by doing more to prevent mental illness and linking mental health expertise to GP practices, hospitals and other services.

Three hospitals working as a group has the potential to:

  • Save on administrative and support functions
  • Improve urgent and emergency care – save more lives and increase chances of a good recovery
  • Protect planned care – no cancelled operations, shorter waiting times
  • Make the most of expert clinicians – close gaps in clinical staffing
The Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Plan includes the possibility that there could be two or three different types of hospital in the hospital group. There is no decision about this yet. Clinicians and local people are still discussing the pros and cons of potential options. These discussions will continue into the early part of 2017 as part of developing a business case for national approval.

Should the business case be approved there would be a full public consultation before reaching any final decisions.

Knowing that demands will continue to rise in the future, we cannot continue with the health and care system we have now.

Many of the changes proposed in the STP are obvious improvements for local people, such as more care closer to home, easier access to local services, joined up and personalised care and more emphasis on prevention. Some changes have downsides, such as further to travel for specialist care.

Change is difficult. We will listen to all perspectives.

We are currently in discussions about plans and would welcome your views. Your views and feedback will help to inform our appraisal of potential options and the completion of a business case for national assurance. If approved by the national bodies, there will be a public consultation on the main service changes later in 2017.

Have your say