Lewisham councillors push for publication of NHS 'secret plans' for healthcare in SE London

According to a recent report in News Shopper (2 September 2016), Lewisham councillors are pushing for publication of ‘secret’ plans for the NHS in south east London, as analysis shows services will face a shortfall of £1billion by 2021 if the funding deficit is not addressed.

Last month councillors in Lewisham called for the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for south east London, which is being drawn up to address the funding gap, to be published in detail.

An investigation crowdfunded by campaign website 38 Degrees showed south east London is facing the third biggest deficit by 2021, projecting a shortfall of over £1bn.

Councillor Alan Hall, Chair of Lewisham Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, said they are continuing to push the NHS and its partners to publish the plans in full.

He told News Shopper: 'Clearly what that is is a framework for the next few years for the NHS across south east London.

'What Lewisham residents deserve is a full proper consultation in the round of all the proposals as well as any specific service changes.'

A spokesperson for Our Healthier South East London, said: 'We would need to develop this plan to reduce the gap even if we had limitless funding, because we urgently need to address the clinical and quality challenges facing services across south east London.

'The gap of £1 billion arises if we do nothing. During the period of the STP, our budget will rise from £6 billion to £7 billion across south east London, while our costs are projected to rise to £8 billion.

'This is why commissioners, providers, local authorities and local people have been working for the last two years to develop a plan for high quality, sustainable services - first as part of the Our Healthier South East London strategy and now as the STP.

'Most of our ideas have already been discussed extensively and they have all been published on our website, along with a summary of our STP.'

Healthwatch Lewisham is sharing peoples experiences and views to help shape health and social care in the borough, including the STP. If you have any questions or concerns about any proposed changes to get in touch with us by calling 020 8315 1916 or email info@healthwatchlewisham.co.uk.

Read more on Our Healthier South East London's STP here


Image: Our Healthier South East London infographic