Delivering Sustainability and Transformation Plans

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21 Feb 2017

Responding to the King’s Fund report 'Delivering Sustainability and Transformation Plans', Professor Michael Lavelle Jones, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said

“The College broadly welcomes the views expressed in the report and for upfront investment to be made in social and community care as a priority.

“We also support moves that better utilise the finite resources of the NHS, such as the reconfiguration of specialist services where there is clinical evidence that they demonstrably improve patient outcomes.

"However, plans to cut the number of hospital beds in England at a time when hospitals are running at full capacity is unrealistic.

“Hospitals are at the very limit of what they can cope with. Delayed transfers are running at their highest ever level, with around 70,000 discharges being held up as a result of social care not being in place.

“And as this winter’s continuous pressures continue to show, the NHS has very little capacity to transform itself in any meaningful way.

“The College would not support plans to reduce overall capacity unless appropriate investment in social care is made first and where services are centralised. This shouldn’t come at the cost of a reduction in other local services. Patients and NHS staff need to be reassured that decisions are made on the basis of clinical evidence rather than local financial or political pressures.”

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