The new NHS shared planning guidance covering the years to 2020-21 contains much that is new and indeed radical. Already one element that has drawn comment is the new Sustainability and Transformation Fund.
This fund will hold £1.8 billion to support providers in deficit – money that up until now came from the Department of Health. When other funding streams that support transformation are added, this will create a total fund of £2.1 billion.
For the sustainability element (ie deficit support) of the Sustainability and Transformation Fund in 2016-17, the NHS planning guidance states that: “The distribution of this funding will be calculated… by NHS Improvement and then agreed with NHS England”.