HEALTH leaders from Thurrock, Southend and Essex councils have agreed their stance on the health sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) required by NHS England.
At the meeting of Thurrock Council’s Cabinet (9 November), Portfolio Holder for Education and Health, Cllr James Halden, announced that agreement had been reached with the councillors responsible for health at Southend and Essex council on a set of principles for STPs across the three areas.
STPs provide details around how local services will evolve and become more sustainable over the next five years and built around the needs of local populations.
Cllr Halden said: “I am delighted to announce tonight that after months of meetings, conferences, letters and so on, all three councils have agreed a set of principles in regards to the work of the STP, which I have signed and will present to the Health and Wellbeing Board.”
These principles include an investment shift towards early intervention and prevention; vital links with patients and Healthwatch are maintained and; priority given to strengthening and improving the quality and capacity of primary care.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Halden said: “Ensuring the NHS is on a sustainable footing to provide important services to our residents is one of the most important things we do.
“Of course, the detail of the STP will be of NHS design, but this united approach shows leadership on what we want to see from the NHS in terms of our priorities, ensuring they are given the attention they deserve.
“The three councils represent so much social care and planning power that we can put our weight into trying to get an STP that works for local people.
“This set of principles will allow us to speak with one voice, in unity with our colleagues in other councils.
“Where change is proposed, not only will there be public engagement, but the council will take a leadership role in working with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Healthwatch to ensure change is medically-driven and of sound rationale.”
For more information on adult health in the borough, please visit thurrock.gov.uk/adult-health