Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations The Best Policy

What we know so far about the STPs

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 23 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6311
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Interactive map available

Click here to explore the current proposals in each STP area.

  1. Nigel Edwards, chief executive
  1. Nuffield Trust, London
  1. nigel.edwards{at}

Most have set out a long shopping list of measures to achieve efficiency savings

We are starting to see what England’s 44 new sustainability and transformation plans (STPs)1 might entail. Much of the process has been conducted behind closed doors, but some full versions of STPs have been released, the first being Birmingham and Solihull.2 We can begin to see how the STPs intend to keep the health service on an even financial keel through the very stormy years ahead—and how likely they are to work.

Their task, as forecast by NHS England, is to lay out plans to achieve £15bn (€18bn; $19bn) of the £22bn in productivity savings needed across England by 2020-21.3

Getting harder to cut costs

Around half the savings is to come from the sort of standard programme of annual efficiency targets that the NHS has been used to. Squeezing down trusts’ costs through reducing the tariff of …

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