The majority of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) are failing to take into account the needs of infants, children and young people, according to a review undertaken by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
STPs are the proposals put together by the NHS and local councils to meet the health needs of the local population in 44 areas of England
The report ‘The State of Child Health: STP’ says that while most STP set out the case for change well and cover important key themes such as prevention, early intervention, more care delivered in the community, better mental health services and integrated working, there is a lack of detail underpinning the vision. It concludes that the lack of profile given to infants, children and young people (who comprise 25% of the UK population) by the majority of STP, is a major cause for concern.
Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “We’re disappointed at the lack of focus on the health and wellbeing needs of infants, children and young people. It is short sighted and a major cause for concern, that they appear to have been forgotten. Investing in child health is a hallmark of a mature society committed to securing the wellbeing of future generations; as a healthy child grows into a healthy adult, able to contribute to the economic productivity of the nation, such investment also makes strong financial sense.
“We’ve found a real lack of clarity around strategic direction, oversight, accountability and responsibility for STP as they evolve. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that STP, or any new models of care, will be successful given the substantial workforce shortages and major funding constraints that the NHS is currently experiencing.”