Individual organisations that constitute each of the 44 Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) are accountable to local communities for activities of each STP. Each is working to its own, locally appropriate timetable but many have already carried out extensive engagement with the public. When there are proposals to substantially change services, National Health Service and local government organisations have a duty to consult their local communities. There are longstanding rules laid to assure this.
All significant service change is subject to a full public consultation and proposals must meet the Government’s four reconfiguration tests. These are support from clinical commissioners, clarity on the clinical evidence base, robust patient and public engagement and support for patient choice. There is additional NHS England guidance which means that proposed service reconfigurations should be tested for their impact on overall bed numbers in the area.