The NHS and County Council, working with a range of community partners, have published the Gloucestershire five year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

It sets out the very significant challenges that exist and the opportunities to ensure local people can access high quality, sustainable and safe physical and mental health care into the future.

The challenges include a growing population with more complex needs, increasing demand for services, escalating drug costs, recruiting enough staff with the right skills and expertise and considerable pressure on NHS and social care finances.

Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“To meet these growing challenges, we need to accelerate the pace of change, and together with our staff, partners and the public, be forward thinking in how we organise services and community support and use the money available to us.

In primary care for example, GP practices are looking at how they can work more closely together to provide services within local communities and wider partnership working at community level is also a key theme within our STP.”

Accountable Officer of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire STP footprint (area) lead, Mary Hutton said:

“There will be tough choices going forward and therefore it’s important that we have a framework within which to take decisions – the STP provides us with this framework.

We now look forward to beginning a period of staff and public engagement over the priorities set out in the plan. The next step will be to develop detailed proposals for change for discussion over the course of next year.”

The Gloucestershire STP sets out priorities to:

  • Place greater emphasis on prevention of illness and self-care with investment to support it
  • Provide more joined up care and support in people’s homes and in the community
  • Explore options to bring together some hospital services into ‘centres of excellence’ to ensure safety and quality
  • Develop a ‘best use of medicines’ programme and priority fund the drugs and treatments that have the greatest health benefit for the population
  • Develop a sustainable workforce
  • Make the most of new technologies.

Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council, Pete Bungard said:

“By working together in a joined up way in Gloucestershire, we can build stronger, healthier communities and reduce over-reliance on health and care services.

As we live longer we frequently experience more complex needs, which increase the demand for a range of services. We will continue to improve the way we work in partnership so that individuals can access help to stay as well as possible, maintain their independence and receive joined up care and community support when it is really needed.”

Chief Executive of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Shaun Clee said:

“Mental health and wellbeing is one of our key priorities and all partners recognise that there is no health without mental health. Whether it’s strengthening our approach to prevention or further joining up community and crisis services, there is a commitment in the STP to invest in this area to improve people’s lives and reduce pressure on other areas of the NHS.”

Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Paul Jennings said:

“Through the emerging ‘People and Place’ model, we are on course to make further positive strides in Gloucestershire to join up care and support in people’s homes and in the community. The STP describes how GP practices will work closely with health, social care and the voluntary and community sector to support local populations.”

The STP also describes outline plans to develop a supporting network of centres and services to support people’s urgent care needs.

Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Deborah Lee said:

“Our acute hospital sites have a very important part to play in providing sustainable health services for the future. However, we want patients to access the very best care, delivering the very best outcomes and believe that bringing some of our hospital services together to create ‘centres of excellence’ can provide real benefits. We would like to continue that conversation with staff and local people.”

“Importantly, we want to ensure that our specialist services are always available to patients when they are needed and given the growing demands on our hospitals, this means that increasingly our services will be targeted at those whose care cannot be provided at home or in the community. I’m delighted that our partners are committed to ensuring local access to alternatives to hospital based care to enable us to deliver this vision.”

Chair of Healthwatch Gloucestershire, Claire Feehily said:

“Like other areas of England, the health and care community in Gloucestershire is clearly facing significant challenges. It is imperative therefore that all partners remain committed to working together and devise a shared plan for the future.

We are pleased that Healthwatch Gloucestershire has been asked to contribute to the plan and we welcome the fact that local people will have an opportunity to contribute to these discussions over the coming months to help shape specific proposals for change.”

Claire Mould, Chair of the VCS Alliance said:

“It is promising that the great value, contribution and potential of the voluntary and community sector is being recognised in Gloucestershire and the STP is clear that in order for joined up care and support to succeed, wider partnerships, skills and knowledge are essential going forward.”

Local people can now download a copy of Gloucestershire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan, read the short guide, complete the on-line survey and find out about engagement opportunities in their area at: