• STP members told capital funds to transform services unlikely to be granted
  • NHS England NHS Improvement regional directors tell leaders in Hampshire to be “significantly more conservative”

The leaders of one sustainability and transformation plan have been told by NHS England and NHS Improvement it is “highly unlikely” they will get the capital they have asked for to execute it.

A letter to members of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight STP, responding to their STP submitted on 21 October, states: “We noted that the plans will request significant capital funds, a total of £194m.

“Capital resourcing over the coming years is extremely restricted and any funding available will be highly competitive. It is highly unlikely that the sums proposed will be available and further given the scale anticipated to be spent in the next two years unlikely that the plans would be sufficiently developed to support investment in this time frame.

“Your STP will need to be significantly more conservative in relation to capital investment reflecting the constrained environment in which we operate.”

The letter is from NHS Improvement regional managing director Anne Eden and her NHS England counterpart Jennifer Howells, and dated 31 October. It is in response to the 21 October “full” submission of the STP.

The STP plan, also seen by HSJ, asks for £108.5m for “primary and community hubs” in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The letter from NHS Improvement and NHS England also noted the plan had not addressed “difficult decisions related to north and mid Hampshire”.

In September the long-standing chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust announced her retirement, this came shortly after commissioners indicated they would not back the development of a new critical care hospital and cancer centre close to junction seven of the M3.

The STP document, seen by HSJ, said acute trusts were working as an “alliance” to reconfigure unsustainable services and to “consolidate clinical support services for the population in Southern Hampshire and the Isle of Wight”. It said the best option for a “sustainable configuration of acute services” in mid and north Hampshire was being determined.

The letter in response to the STP also said the plan “represents the right strategic direction of travel and includes the right set of actions to address the challenge. However, the pace of change you were planning is not yet sufficient to meet the challenge that control totals place on you for the next two years, with a £63m additional financial challenge to be addressed.”

It says: “You acknowledged that the governance structures you have worked within for this phase of work have been necessarily inclusive but are not yet ready for operational delivery.”

HSJ understands the STP had already developed a different governance structure, more focused on delivery.

The STP plans to break even by the 2020-21 financial year by making efficiency savings, changing service delivery and with £60m of sustainability and transformation fund money assumed.

Exclusive: STP told its capital demand 'highly unlikely' to be met