Time for long and honest engagement between the NHS, patients and the public

PMQ 9 March 2016The publication of the local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) should usher in a “long and honest period” of engagement between the NHS, patients and the public, to improve health and social care in Bristol, says Karin Smyth MP.

But she says the STP “offers no help” in addressing Bristol’s financial challenges, which can only be tackled with extra funding.

“Changing care models only works by making patients part of the design and implementation of that change. You often hear the talk about involving patients, but rarely is it done well,” the Labour MP says in a new article for Huffington Post.

“Changes improve care only if they are implemented properly with the necessary funding.”

She acknowledges that credit is due to local NHS leaders who have “made a genuine estimate on the size of the financial problem.

“If nothing changes in the way care is delivered then in 2020/21 there will be a gap in funding of £305m. If we get transition funding and take steps to improve efficiency and implement better models of care then the gap reduces to £104m. This is a lot but it makes a lot of assumptions and to me it still looks optimistic. There remains a big gap to fill,” she adds.

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