Birmingham and Solihull draft ‘STP’ published


Further to this post, in which we wrote about the implications of the Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs) for the NHS, some will be interested to hear that Birmingham and Solihull’s draft STP has been published today.

There is background on the STP and a statement from Mark Rogers (‘System Leader’ for the STP and chief executive of Birmingham City Council) here on the Cross City CCG website and the document itself can be downloaded here.

This is a draft submission to NHS England and partners to the plan emphasise that  a series of community engagement events will be arranged in the coming months to discuss how the plan “can be improved and what needs to be done to make it happen”.

In some respects the STP seems an amplification of key messages we have been hearing from — and about — the NHS for some years now:

  • A new focus on promoting health and wellbeing rather than simply treating ill-health.
  • Helping people stay independent for longer.
  • Reducing health and social care crises.
  • Greater use of community-based and preventative services.
  • Promoting self-care and individual and community resilience.
  • Greater use of digital technology.


The part of the STP which will be of greatest interest to many is the development of a Community Care First offer, and specifically that focused on health and wellbeing (p.29 onwards in the STP).

This talks about digital technology to support prevention and self-care; community-based ‘care co-ordinators’ to aid service navigation, help build social networks and community resilience; the development of “locality hublets” (what these are is somewhat unclear), the better integration of multi-disciplinary teams (an “MDT approach”), and the integration of other services (housing, neighbourhood management, emergency services) as the basis of a “genuinely community-based health and wellbeing offer”.

It is worth noting that here there is also specific mention (p.38) of the importance of the third sector’s role: “The use of the third sector to support care navigation and target patients that would benefit from social prescribing and other community based support.”

Quite how this will work in practice is unclear, but assuming it results in new or redirected commissioning spend it is here that there seems to be huge potential for social enterprises, the third sector, community groups and others to contribute and for social value-based commissioning to come into its own.

The Birmingham and Solihull STP is also a goldmine of current statistics on key health, deprivation and demographic indicators and from this perspective many will find it useful.

There is some interesting commentary on two of the first draft STPs to be published — Birmingham and Solihull’s, and North Central London — on the Digital Health website here.

Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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