NHS in England embraces collaboration in tackling biggest crisis in its history

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The NHS is in the grip of the biggest crisis in its history. Hospital budgets are in deficit by £2 billion or more; targets for patient care are being missed; and the dispute over the junior doctors’ contract is unresolved, with consequences for patients and medical staff.

There is also the possibility – even a probability – that the Department of Health will fail to balance its budget, with major ramifications for health ministers and senior civil servants.

Enter sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), the latest addition to the NHS alphabet soup. Announced in the NHS planning guidance published in December, these are multiyear plans centred on the needs of local populations. NHS organisations serving these populations have been asked to come together to prepare 'place-based plans' by the end of June – and around 45 areas in England have been identified as the footprints on which they will be based.

Read the full article on the British Medical Journal website (£).