Delivering the forward view: NHS planning guidance


Clearly set out in the document are three main objectives for 2016/17:  implement 5YFV, deliver financial balance and deliver core access and quality standard. This echoes Jim Mackey's  (Chief Executive of NHS Improvement) messages to the service in 2015, that 2016/17 is all about delivering the core business.

Resources should be used to close the three gaps set out in the 5YFV: health and well-being gap; care and quality gap; and the funding and efficiency gap.

In addition to the key message on delivery, there is also a renewed emphasis on the importance of good, joined up planning. All organisations will be required to put in place two plans, the first of which is the more traditional one-year operational plan for each organisation by 11 April. More challenging and transformational will be the required five-year, system-wide sustainability and transformation plan which is due at the end of June 2016 and will be formally assessed in July.

The document sets out significant detail regarding the development of the plans and their contents:

- Local leaders need to come together as a team.

- A shared vision should be developed with the local community.

- The plan should include details of programming activities to make it happen in practice as well as information on execution and learning/adapting.

- Expectation of good engagement with clinicians, patients, carers, citizens, local community partners (community and voluntary sectors) and Local Government through the Health and Well-being board.

- Must cover CCG activity, primary care, specialist services, health and social care integration and prevention.

- STPs to become the single application process for transformational funding from 2017/18, for 2016/17 the existing system of complex application routes remain.

- Judgement of quality of plans to include scale of ambition, track record of progress made, clarity of vision, evidence of borrowing good practice from elsewhere and adopting national policies.  A non-exhaustive checklist is included.

-Initial task is to agree the footprint covered by each S&T Plan by the end of January 2016.

The planning guidance sets out the nine must-dos for 2016/17:

- High quality S&T Plan
- Financial balance in aggregate
- Plan and implement changes to sustain general practice
- Achieve A&E targets
- Achieve Referral to Treatment (RTT) targets
- Achieve Cancer Waiting Time Targets
- Achieve the two new mental health standards
- Deliver actions set out in local plans on Learning Disabilities
- Affordable plan to make improvements in quality (includes some compulsory mortality reporting).

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