The widely anticipated Sustainability and Transformation Plan for the area that covers Milton Keynes has been published. This is known as the "Bedford-Luton-Milton Keynes Sustainability and Transformation Plan (BLMK STP)"
Milton Keynes Labour Party Councillors have issued a statement on the plan.
We are relieved that the STP documents are finally in the public domain for local people to scrutinise and comment on.
The STP process has been driven centrally by NHS England and in our view is a waste of time and resources on matters that could have been discussed on a more local basis.
In Milton Keynes there is agreement that the future model of the National Health Service and social care must be a more integrated model of services that promotes healthy living and invests in preventative services to reduce the burden on the NHS and the need for expensive hospital treatment. We do not believe that the area needed an expensive and time consuming process to dictate how that could work when it was something we were already progressing with.
We remain concerned at the lack of thought and guidance at a national level as to how local democratic structures, delivery and accountability can be included in the STP process and the recommendations the STP will make. If the national NHS management remain committed to a secretive and prescriptive process being driven solely by reducing services in order to fill a funding black-hole created by the Conservative Government, it is doomed to fail.
Locally the MK Health & Wellbeing Board, including representatives from MK Council, MK Hospital, the Clinical Commissioning Group, user representatives and the VCSE sector, have agreed to work with the STP and seek to influence the recommendations it makes.
However as a Labour Council Cabinet we are clear that the BLMK STP must not be a cover for cuts, and must be driven by a real desire to improve services for our residents.
We are clear about our STP red-lines:
* We will not support any proposal that recommends reduced Accident & Emergency or maternity services at Milton Keynes Hospital.
* The future of services proposed by any STP recommendation must take account of the future growth of Milton Keynes.
* Any changes to delivering social care must be agreed by MK Council and must not include privatisation.
* We want all recommendations to be made fully public and open to local scrutiny, not a secretive forgone conclusion.
MK Labour Party will always place the needs of Milton Keynes and our residents first.
Leader, MK Council & Chair, MK Health and Wellbeing Board
Councillor Hannah O'Neill Deputy Leader and Health lead
Councillor Nigel Long. Adult Social Care lead.
Our previous statement on the STP dated 30 August is here: http://www.mklabour.org.uk/statement_from_councillor_pete_marland_on_nhs_stp