The must read stories and talking points from Friday

Simon Stevens hits back

After a few days in which NHS England has taken plenty of flak for its handling of STP process, Simon Stevens finally responded directly to the criticism in an interview with HSJ.

Mark Rogers – Birmingham and Solihull STP lead and city council chief – said earlier in the week the “sort out the NHS first” approach adopted by the central NHS bodies towards STPs has made it difficult for areas to balance health and care. Two London councils also raised concerns over transparency and lack of focus on social care.

Talking about whether social care should receive more funding as part of the STP process, Mr Stevens, said: “Those decisions are for the people in Birmingham and Solihull to make, so I would expect they will have made those kind of judgements in the STP, which [Mr Rogers has] been good enough to produce.”

He added: “STPs are simply a process for getting the right group of people to think about broader fundamental changes, they’re not intended nor would they ever deal with every possible thing that has got to be sorted out in the Nation Health Service let alone social care…

“The STPs are a way of getting local NHS leaders, clinician, local government leaders and communities to look at the changes within the funding envelope that we currently have at our disposal.”

The NHS England chief executive also told HSJ NHS organisations that sell surplus land may be able to retain the capital receipts generated to invest in new services, rather than surrender them to central government.

The idea is being explored by NHS England as part of a set of measures designed to help realise proposals contained within the STPs.

Catch up on this week’s big STP stories

In case you missed any of the developments around STPs this week, here’s a summary: