Progress on NHS shake-up in Yorkshire ‘must be improved’

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Progress on controversial plans to address an estimated £420m funding gap for NHS services caring for more than a million people in Yorkshire has been rated amongst the worst in the country.

All 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) which have been produced at regional levels across the country to change the way care is delivered and meet a £22bn financial black hole facing the NHS by 2021 have been publicly rated by NHS England for the first time on a so-called ‘Progress Dashboard’.

The STP for the Humber, Coast and Vale region is one of five national plans to be placed in the lowest category of “needs most improvement”. The plans were assessed in relation to how regional NHS partnerships are working together in key areas like hospital performance and general practice.

The Humber, Coast and Vale area stretches along the east coast of England from Scarborough to Cleethorpes, incorporating Hull and York and large rural areas, with a total population of around 1.4m people.

Its proposals are a result of a collaboration between 28 health and social care organisations in the region. Key aims of the STP include “reducing dependence on hospitals” and supporting people to “manage their own care better”.

A spokesman for the STP, which covers proposals for places like Scarborough, the Vale of York and Hull and East Riding, said: “We know that we have much still to do and there are many challenges to overcome. Some of the challenges within our local health economy have been with us for many years and we are now working together in a new way to tackle them.

“The ratings for STP areas published by NHS England today reflect the scale of the challenge that we face as a partnership and underline the need for us to work together in order to continue making further improvements.”

But STP plans for other parts of the region fared better in the NHS England review, with the progress on the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw proposals described as “outstanding”.

The same rating was given to the Durham, Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire & Whitby STP, while the West Yorkshire proposals were placed in the “making progress” category.

Health chiefs in South Yorkshire have welcomed the support from NHS England for their proposals.

Sir Andrew Cash, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw accountable care system lead, said: “This is absolutely down to the proven history of working together across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to improve health and care.

“Our job now is to continue to make improvements for our citizens, with our immediate focus on working together to take the strain off A&E, make it easier to get a GP appointment and improve care and treatment in mental health and cancer.”