STPs, ICOs and ICSs
The RCN Eastern region includes six STP footprints. These partnerships were initially formed to develop plans covering the period 2016 to 2021. These set out how each area planned to reform health and social care services to meet future demands and overcome a funding shortfall of £22bn across the NHS in England over this period. As time has passed, some STPs have made the transition to integrated care organisations or integrated care systems. These models involve greater collaboration between the NHS, local authorities and other partners to deliver the best service possible to the local population. RCN Eastern staff are actively involved in monitoring the region’s STPs and ICSs, meeting with key players and seeking to make sure that the voice of nursing is heard in their development and implementation. This includes updates from Local Workforce Action Boards (LWABS). The RCN has voiced concerns that without extra funding to ensure there is sufficient provision to realise 'the right care in the right place at the right time' aspiration of the plans, there is a risk they will not deliver their intended outcomes for patients.
Here is a summary based on updates from LWABs on their own areas:
Norfolk and Waveney
The vision of the partnership is to “build healthier communities” and provide “high quality and responsive” services across the Norfolk and Waveney area. They also want to make it easier for people to access services and “lead happy and healthier lives”. Actions being taken include growing the TNA programme and developing apprenticeship levy opportunities. On leadership, the STP has committed to cultural change aimed at continuous improvement and the creation of a digital platform for staff engagement. Looking at the supply and retention of staff, they are focussing on “attraction programmes” and regional HR practices which limit agency use and improve HR streamlining. Find out more here.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
The STP has said it is committed to ensuring a workforce who are “fit, healthy, skilled, motivated and proud” to work in the system. It says it will work collaboratively to understand the workforce requirements needed to meet changing practice to deliver “high quality and efficient health and social care”. Actions taken include analysing workforce demand and supply and using intelligence to inform future investment decisions. They are also increasing the skills of staff and expanding leadership interventions. Find out more here.
Mid and South Essex
Plans have been published to invest in innovation and expertise to help people stay well for longer. The partnership also wants to join services so care is closer to where people live. They have also committed to redesigning hospitals to meet rising demands with the “best quality emergency and specialist care”. The area has been focussing on specific workforce shortages in certain staff groups. Employment and retention of new graduates, medical and nursing and support staff has also been a focus, as well as reducing agency and locum spending. They are also looking to address the concerns around the ageing workforce, in particular in primary care. Find out more here.
Suffolk and North East Essex
The vision is this area has focussed on collaboration, innovation and inspiring clinical and community leadership. It has stated its intention to improve care for the public, support for its workforce and how it spends public money. The STP has made the move to become an integrated care system (ICS). It wants to establish a shared and transparent approach to workforce planning to support the needs of its population. There is also a focus on workforce supply and retention, as well as supporting the health and well-being of employees. It has also committed to working as one system which supports the move to a more collaborative organisational model such as integrated care organisations (ICOs) and integrated care systems (ICSs).Find out more here.
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
The STP’s priorities included a focus on prevention and better care closer to home. They have also focussed on improved technology and system redesign. Like Suffolk and North East Essex, this STP has moved to the ICS model where NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards and improving the health of the population. Their plans include a focus on future workforce supply, covering the recruitment of new staff and the retention of existing staff. They also want to facilitate a system-wide approach to education and training. Find out more here.
Hertfordshire and West Essex
The STP has identified key challenges around living well and preventing ill health and transforming primary and community services. They also have the aim of improving urgent and hospital services and providing health more efficiently and effectively. They have committed to increased workforce planning and modelling capacity and capability within the system, as well as the development of a Talent Academy to support future workforce supply. The development of a Leadership Academy for all levels across the system is also included. Find out more here.