Doctors wake up to consequences of STP plans which have already closed most East Devon community hospitals


Almost two in three senior doctors fear a controversial NHS shake-up that will downgrade or close dozens of hospital units will damage the care patients receive. The hospital consultants fear the sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) will lead to staff losing their jobs, will exacerbate workforce shortages and will act as a cover for cuts to services.

Of 450 hospital clinicians surveyed by the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), 42% believe that STPs will have a “negative impact” on patient care. Barely one in 10 consultants who belong to the union expect a “positive impact”.

Three in four (77%) fear STPs are a way of making cuts to the NHS, while just over half (56%) fear they will lead to job losses and worse understaffing. …

“Many hospital doctors see STPs as a managerially driven process with no real clinical basis, and fear that a mix of underfunding, under-resourcing and service rationalisation can only damage patient care,” said Eddie Saville, the HCSA’s chief executive.

“This is, in effect, yet again an NHS reorganisation, but region by region, with management trying to plug the financial gaps rather than putting high-quality care of patients at the forefront. The fact that STPs are being planned against a backdrop of underfunding and cuts has led many doctors to conclude that this transformation programme is purely an attempt to mask further cutbacks.”

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, criticised STPs as “secretive, opaque and top-down” reforms that would fail patients. …”

DUH – where have some of these doctors been this last 2 years?