The NHS Shared Planning Guidance asked the National Health Service to develop proposed footprints for Sustainability and Transformation Plans by 29 January 2016, engaging with local authorities and other partners. The footprints were then reviewed by the national arm’s length bodies, including NHS Improvement, with regard to geography (including patient flow), scale, fit with footprints of existing change programmes, financial sustainability, and leadership capacity. There were one or two areas where further clarification was sought and, following further conversations locally, changes were agreed.
The process for Sustainability and Transformation Plans is designed to bring together health and care leaders to support improvements in health and care based on the needs of local populations. It does not alter the existing accountabilities of clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and NHS provider organisations.