Press Release: STPs will NOT work, King’s Fund

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[Tuesday 21 February 2017]

The King’s Fund report on delivering the government’s plans for the NHS – Delivering Sustainability and Transformation Plans [1] – does not reflect what is really happening to the NHS in England, and more importantly what will happen unless it is stopped, say Keep Our NHS Public.

 The report does not point out that a growing number of local authorities are rejecting the STPs as impractical, including Conservative-held areas such as Oxford. There simply is no capacity to support people in the communities where the planned hospital closures are to take place. And there is a disturbing trend to make people travel further and further for essential services, as these are cut instead of receiving the further investment they desperately need.


Dr John Lister is Secretary of Keep Our NHS Public and a researcher in the field of health policy:


“These plans are based on wishful thinking in a lot of cases – that ‘social care’ will be there to pick up the demand at a time when local authorities are having to cut back on them. Which is why more and more councils are simply rejecting them as unworkable.


“There is also a growing tendency to use ‘local’ in these documents when it refers to travel distances of 50 miles or more. Presumably to disguise the fact that hospitals are being shut in the localities where people need them. Would you regard a 100-mile round trip as a local journey? Especially on public transport, assuming there is any?


“This government is determined to shift the blame for the cascading failures in the NHS and social care caused by its systematic under-funding disguised as ‘efficiency savings’ on to local authorities who in many cases are saying no, we’re having none of it. These plans are pipe-dreams for a cruel vision of the NHS which allows it to continue to fall apart in the false name of ‘efficiency’. It’s nothing of the sort. It is destruction. Thousands of people are coming to London on 4 March to make their true feelings plain: enough is enough.”






Editors’ Notes


Keep Our NHS Public was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are over 75 local groups, and over 20 affiliated organisations plus a national association. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] and privatisation of the NHS by campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is opposed to cuts in service which run counter to these principles. Further details:


KONP’s Campaigns and Press Officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]



Facebook: Keep-Our-NHS-Public


[1] Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.

Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin

Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press

Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.

Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.


[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models

[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.

Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]

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