Health and Care in Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent – Together We’re Better

Over the past month the feedback gathered during this summer’s listening exercise has been analysed to produce a draft Report of Findings, with the final version soon to be reviewed by the CCG Governing Bodies.

Together We’re Better has now begun the next stage in this journey, by commencing the options appraisal process. Technical experts, including medical directors and clinicians, are reviewing emerging scenarios to develop future proposals for service change. This process will take several months to complete and involves reviewing the feedback from the listening exercise alongside detailed population and service analysis.

The first round of technical workshops, on the 15 October, saw the experts apply essential ‘hurdle’ criteria, which looked at whether a proposal was clinically safe, whether it delivered national priorities/guidance, and whether it met the local needs of the population. At this stage, there are still over 800 potential scenarios across a range of services, including urgent and emergency care, maternity, planned care, community care and mental health that will need to be refined before we have a shortlist of proposals. We want to reassure you that no decisions have been made, and it is too early to predict what changes will be identified.

In parallel with these workshops, we are running a series of workshops during October and November with members of the Local Representatives group, service user groups, voluntary sector, partners, and the workforce. Participants are discussing the emerging scenarios for transformational change. This conversation includes agreeing the ‘desirable criteria’ that will be weighted and used to score the proposals, for example quality of care, meets local needs and accessibility.

Following the pre-election period, we are planning further workshops with the public and workforce to inform the development of a refined list of proposals. Participants will use the agreed criteria to help score the list of proposals, evaluating potential solutions to the problems which patients, workforce and members of the public identified during the listening exercise.

This will support the technical experts to develop a future shortlist of proposals that will inform the Pre Consultation Business Case.

This is an important milestone in a critical programme that will help us to tackle the clinical and financial challenges we face collectively as a system.

The feedback gathered during the summer is also being used to feed into the Together We’re Better Five Year Plan. This is the partnership’s response to the national NHS Long Term Plan, published in January this year. The first draft of the local plan was submitted at the end of September, with final submission due in November.

There are a number of areas and services which Together We’re Better is gathering feedback on to further develop the Five Year Plan before the final submission. Key stakeholders in the partnership are currently being approached for their views to help develop and take this plan forward, for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.