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Our Healthier South East London update

The Sustainability and Transformation Plan for the south east London health and care system has been through the necessary assurance by NHS England and has been published on the programme website:

Some of the main highlights are:

  • Better community based care including: extra £7.5 million a year to ensure that people in south east London can book a GP at a time that suits them – including more evening and weekend slots
  • No closures of any A&E and maternity departments – we want to make sure they all meet high standards of care in the future
  • Better maternity care – dedicated midwives supporting mothers throughout pregnancy, better advice and choice on birth options
  • Developing word-class orthopaedic services – fewer cancelled operations, shorter waiting times and more procedures carried out
  • Faster cancer diagnosis – new £160 million purpose built cancer centres at Guy's Hospital and £30 million centre at Queen Mary's Sidcup, launch of dedicated oncology support phone line, dedicated clinical nurse specialists for all patients
  • All the different parts of local health and care services working together to use available money and resources in the best way possible - helping us avoid a £1bn overspend by 2021


What is the STP

In December 2015, health and care systems across England were asked to come together to create their own ambitious local blueprint for implementing the Five year Forward View, covering up to March 2021, known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).

This means that all health and care organisations in south east London are working together and with local councils to make plans and decisions that will ensure the sustainability of our services into the future.

​The STP for south east London builds on work that was already taking place via Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL), which has been a programme in development since 2013. This tried to address a number of challenges including:

  • a growing and aging population living with long term conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and mental illness
  • quality of care and outcomes of treatment differs depending on when and where people access services
  • patient experience differs and some people find it difficult to get an appointment or feel they do not have enough information about their condition
  • NHS funding increases in line with inflation but the costs of providing care are rising much faster – which, at the moment, could mean an overspend of around £1bn by 2021. Our plan is designed to help us avoid spending more than we receive, while making sure services are high quality, more joined up and available closer to home.


What does the plan mean for local people?

The STP is an important plan which is designed to achieve tangible benefits for local people, such as:


Community based care – expanding accessible, proactive and preventative care for mental and physical health problems outside of hospital.

  • Extra £7.5 million a year to ensure that people in south east London can book a GP at a time that suits them – including more evening and weekend slots
  • From 2018, all practices will offer online as well as telephone booking, and will allow every single patient to manage their prescription and medical records online.


Supporting new mothers - simpler support to new mothers throughout pregnancy and make it easier for them to choose the right type of birth for them and their family.

  • In five years, every new mother will by week 10 of pregnancy be contacted by the midwife who will provide and manage her care and support before and after the birth.
  • Women will receive better and earlier advice about what to expect during pregnancy and how to stay healthy, and their personal health risks will be assessed earlier.

Integrating mental health services

  • We want to ensure that mental as well as physical health needs are identified and addressed – including training for non-clinical workforce to recognize and support mental health needs.
  • We are working to ensure access to mental health support and liaison teams in A&E 24/7.

Improving cancer treatment and diagnosis – improving the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis

  • A dedicated oncology phone line will help direct patients, carers and GPs find the right facility for each stage of their treatment.
  • A new £160 million purpose-built Cancer Centre at Guy's Hospital opened in September 2016 to provide state-of-the-art facilities for cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. A second, smaller cancer centre is being developed as part of the £30 million redevelopment at Queen Mary's Sidcup. This will provide 16,000 radiotherapy and 4,600 chemotherapy treatments a year from early 2017, so patients can be treated closer to their homes rather than having to make the trip to central London.

Developing world-class orthopaedic care

  • We are planning to consult local people on proposals to develop two new specialist orthopaedic centres which would bring together routine and complex planned surgery, such as hip and knee replacements, from across south east London. Having these dedicated centres would mean:
    • We could offer more procedures, and patients would receive a higher standard of care because they would be able to see the most expert doctors in this field.
    • Patients would also spend less time in hospital and there would be fewer cancelled operations.

Improving urgent and emergency care

  • By 2017, there will be a single out-of-hours service and number (111) and access to a clinical hub, which also will let patients know about the different locations they can be treated.
  • By 2019, patients arriving at A&E will be admitted more quickly, and from next year they will all be seen by the best possible expert specialist for their needs

Have local people been involved?

The models of care developed through this programme to address these challenges are the product of several years of partnership working between clinicians, commissioners, council social care leads, local hospitals, and have been informed by extensive engagement with local communities, patients and the public. All of our engagement activity and information on how we use feedback is routinely published on our website

We encourage you to read the full plan and welcome any feedback or questions that you have. We will continue to talk to people about our plans in each clinical area as they develop, as we have for the last two years, and to listen to and consider views from individuals and organisations in Lambeth.