We need patients and the public to shape local health plans, say NHS leaders

30th September 2016


This is the headline of today’s publication of a new guide, by NHS England. Through publishing national advice for local health and social care leaders in preparing what are known as local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).  The advice sets out how to put the communities they serve at the heart of their work.

You may have already seen some news items about the collaborative approach being taken across England, for developing Sustainability and Transformation Plans. This approach requires local leaders to work through how best to spend funding growth and transform care in the face of rising demand and more complex patient needs.

NHS England state that “Proposals for every part of the country are planned for late October/November, with most areas likely to start preparing for more formal local engagement and consultation by the end of the year.”

Healthwatch will continue to work with local leaders to support and promote meaningful engagement with local people.

This new guide includes advice on:

  • using lay representatives and establishing patient reference or advisory groups;
  • considering and carrying out formal consultation with enough time for the public to make their views heard;


  • testing options with local councils and other important stakeholders, where possible by building on the work of existing bodies such as health and wellbeing boards.

For more information: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/09/local-health-plans/