The ELHCP ( The East London Health and Care Partnership ) is what our local STP calls itself. They have now found themselves victims of NHS England’s austerity drive by failing to win bids submitted recently for much needed funding. All the fine words about integrating health and social care, transforming service delivery in East London and improving public health are now, as our campaign has pointed out all along, fallen at the first hurdle because without proper funding you can’t have a proper service!
The East London STP has received an insulting £5m of the £430m of capital funding they submitted bids for. As a result STP chiefs now claim they will face “inevitable and significant issues”. £350m of the bid was needed to develop the Whipps Cross Site which has failed previous inspections. Also, the sale of land on the St. George’s Hospital site has failed to net additional funds for rebuilding on the site, even though the sale netted £43m for NHS Property Services.
The £5m will be used to develop the Urgent Care Centre run by BHRUT ( Barking, Havering and Redbridge) but no other bids submitted in North east London were successful. No surprise about the urgent care centre which they hope will divert the local campaign away from saving the A and E at King George’s hospital in Ilford.
No feedback on the strategic estates plan or clinical strategy was received indicating any concerns about the plan. So, basically NHS England says nothing about the fine words and plans for north east London and then refuses any funding! STP’s were supposed to be about “sustainability ” but now time and resources have been wasted on plans which have now been made unsustainable! There is a clear dysfunction between the local and central arms of the Government’s STP mission.
When local sites are sold the capital receipts go to NHS England nationally but are not directed back locally necessarily. An ELHCP spokesperson stated that this shortfall “will inevitably make it more challenging to deliver high-quality services to our residents”. The criteria for the bids were deliverability, service and demand management, transformation and patient benefit, financial sustainability, value for money, and estates. In which case, if the bids fail any one of these why were indications not made earlier to the STP following submission of their plans? The answer is simple. Capital is provided centrally and distributed piecemeal as part of the Government’s cruel austerity strategy for the NHS. Who said austerity was over?