Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) FAQ

What is a Sustainability & Transformation Partnership (STP)?

The NHS Shared Planning Guidance, published in December 2015, asked every health and care system to come together to create their own ambitious local blueprint for accelerating implementation of the Five Year Forward View (5YFV). As a result, neighbouring health and care services have formed 44 geographical areas to develop and deliver these transformation programmes.

The STPs themselves are:

  • the local mechanism for delivering the Five Year Forward View: understanding and addressing the three gaps (health and wellbeing, care and quality and finance and efficiency) at a local level.
  • multi-year, place-based plans to meet local need: breaking down boundaries at the organisational level and supplementing planning by individual institutions.
  • ‘umbrella’ plans for change: hold underneath them a number of different specific plans to address key local issues. NHS organisations will retain their own accountability whilst also working to a shared, agreed plan which addresses how they will collectively improve health, care and finance for their population.

Why is our area involved?

Every health and care system in England needs to produce a sustainability and transformation plan. There are 44 footprints in England.

Footprints are local geographic areas where organisations are working together to develop plans to transform the way that health and care is planned and delivered over the next five years.

Each STP footprint is convened by a senior leader who has agreed to chair and lead the meetings on behalf of their peers. Each footprint has agreed its own governance and representation, depending on local circumstances and to ensure that all relevant NHS bodies and partners are included. An STP footprint supports organisations to come together to agree how best to improve and sustain services and health for their local populations.

The local, statutory architecture for health and care remains. Existing accountabilities for Chief Executives of provider organisations and Accountable Officers of CCGs are unchanged.

Why is this being done now?

Because it is essential that the NHS improves how patients are treated and how they feel when they use NHS and care. It is also important that health and care services are truly working together for all patients. STPs are important because they signal a clear intent to encourage collaboration between local healthcare organisations to meet the financial and service pressures they collectively face.

Where does this idea come from?

It is part of the NHS Five Year Forward View.

What is meant by footprint?

It simply means a whole geographical area to be covered by the plan.

Who is involved?

Senior healthcare staff from every health and care organisation in East Surrey and Sussex are involved in designing the East Surrey and Sussex STP.

  • Brighton & Hove CCG
  • Surrey & Sussex LMCS
  • Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Healthwatch West Sussex
  • Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • High Weald Lewes Havens CCG
  • West Sussex County Council
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
  • Eastbourne Hailsham Seaford & Hastings and Rother CCGs
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • SECAmb
  • Queen Victoria Hospitals NHS FoundationTrust
  • Horsham & Mid Sussex CCG
  • High Weald Lewes Havens CCG
  • First Community Health Care
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • East Sussex County Council
  • Crawley CCG
  • Coastal West Sussex CCG
  • Brighton & Hove City Council

What do you mean by health and care services?

NHS services (hospitals, mental health care providers, community health providers, children and adult social care (provided by local councils).

Will my hospital close?

At present there are no plans for hospital closures.

Will social services still look after me?

Yes, they will, but working closer together with the NHS services to provide better, more joined up treatment.

Will I have to change my doctor?


Where will I go if I’m not well?

Your GP, you can call 111 and go to your closest urgent care centre, or you will be taken to, or referred to the best place for your treatment

Are GPs involved in this planning?

Clinical commissioning groups (which are led by local doctors and health professionals) are part of the planning process.

Are the public involved in this planning?

Public communication and engagement will be a vital part of every place-based plan across Sussex and East Surrey.

What is the legal status of the Board?

STPs are not statutory bodies, but collective discussion forums which aim to bring together health and care leaders to support the delivery of improved health and care based on the needs of local populations. They do not replace existing local bodies, or change local accountabilities.

What is the chain of accountability?

Members of the Programme Board are accountable to the governing bodies of their own organisations.

How often does the Board intend to meet?

At present the board meets every two weeks

Will there be public access to the Board meetings?

STPs are not statutory bodies so at present do not meet in public

Where will the agenda, board papers and minutes be made available to the public?

These are available on the websites of all the organisations in the footprint, including Healthwatch West Sussex.

What impact assessments have been carried out in relation to the operation of the plan?

Equality Impact Assessment will be carried out for all elements of the STP work programme.