A public meeting organised by a group of local people under the banner of Islington Keep Our NHS Public will take place at Islington Town Hall, Upper Street on Tuesday 15 November between 7.30 – 9.00pm where the leader of Islington Council will also voice concerns at five year long Sustainability and Transformation plans (STPs) being drafted by local health and care systems.
The campaigners believe the STPs will remove £22bn a year (about 20%) from the national NHS budget. The Islington, Camden, Haringey, Enfield and Barnet area will be required to make cuts of £900m. In other areas STPs include closures of A&E and maternity wards.
44 STP geographically based “footprint” areas – collective discussion forums which aim to bring together health and care leaders to support the delivery of improved health and care based on the needs of local populations – will develop the STPs. There is no public involvement in the footprint forums and they lie outside of statutory and accountable NHS bodies.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act, the most extensive reorganisation of the structure of the National Health Service in England to date, remains in place alongside the requirements to produce STPs. Clive Peedell (co-chairman of the NHS Consultants Association and a consultant clinical oncologist) said there is “evidence that privatisation is an inevitable consequence” of the Act, whilst the then Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, said that claims that the government is attempting to privatise the NHS were “ludicrous scaremongering”.