The Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP)

What is an STP?

Health and social care organisations in the Black Country and West Birmingham have developed proposals to improve health and care for local people. The proposals are known as the Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

There is a national requirement to develop five year Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) covering all areas of NHS spending in England and linking with all the national strategic priorities for health. 

Our local STP covers the Black Country and west of Birmingham.


What is an STP?

The STP is not a new organisation and it has no statutory powers. It’s a collaboration of 18 organisations across primary care, community services, social care, mental health and acute and specialised services across the Black Country and the west of Birmingham. These organisations retain their individual responsibility and decision-making powers, but recognise the opportunity and benefits of coming together for  people who use our health and care services.

STPs offer a new way of working for health and social care services locally, focusing on delivering health and care services defined by local area boundaries, not by local organisational boundaries. The aims are to:

  • Improve the health and wellbeing of local people
  • Improve the quality of local health and care services
  • Deliver financial stability and efficiencies throughout the local health care system.  


Why we need to do things differently

As our population ages and people live longer than ever before, the number of people requiring care for life also changes. Health and care funding is not increasing in line with the demands on the services. Local authority budgets for social care are also reducing. Without change, in five years’ time we are predicting that we will have a £700 million gap between the funding that health and social care has and the money it needs to spend.

We must find a different way in which to plan, organise and provide services if we are to continue meeting the health and care needs of our local population, some of which lives in the most deprived areas in England and suffers some of the worst health outcomes. 

The success of our STP also relies on our relationship with our patients, people who use our services, our staff and clinicians. We will take an engaging and co-production approach to our STP by getting patients, people who use our services, our staff and clinicians to lead change. Taking decisions together we will ensure that collective action can make a positive difference to the health and care of people across the Black Country and West Birmingham.


What does it mean for Dudley

Dudley CCG have been active partners in developing the STP. Paul Maubach our Chief Executive Officer, chairs the local place based workstream with the aim of developing new models of integrated care across the Black Country. Dr David Hegarty, our Chair, leads the Clinical Reference Group which will provide a Quality Assurance role to the wider STP and ensure that there is clinical leadership to any changes.

The STP reinforces the importance of our local development of the Dudley MCP. The work we have done to date is an example of best practice and Dudley will be leading the way in much of the place based care plans. The STP also adds value to Dudley by developing the benefits of Black Country-wide working on areas such as secondary acute care.

The STP offers a helpful opportunity for collaboration towards areas of best practice. Ensuring that we use our resources effectively to drive improvements in the quality of care for people across Dudley and the Black Country.  We endorse the overall direction of travel and we will be looking to take responsibility locally for those areas which are important to Dudley people and the changes they require to improve access, continuity and coordination of care. We also welcome the independent review of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital to ensure that the plans for this new hospital reconfiguration provide the best possible solutions for services in the Black Country.


You can read the full plan by clicking here

You can read a summary version of the plan here

You can read Frequently Asked Questions here


Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Case For Change

Clinical leaders from across the Black Country and West Birmingham have agreed twelve clinical priorities to improve the health and care outcomes of local people. The twelve priorities are part of a ‘clinical case for change’ for delivering integrated health and care services.

The case for change will be clinically led and will make a difference to local patients by:

  • Reducing unwarranted variation and duplication across health and care services
  • Helping to address the triple aim: improve people’s health, improve the quality of services and deliver financial stability.
  • Ensuring services are of the highest quality and sustainable.
  • Ensuring clinical services are delivered with a workforce equipped to deliver.

During the summer, the case for change will be used to inform a five-year plan for how local health and care organisations will deliver the ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.


Download the clinical case for change here.


Digital Roadmap document supporting plans for better health and care in the Black Country 

Supporting delivery of the above Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), the Black Country Digital Roadmap can be found here. It provides an overview of the region’s Digital initiatives supporting the STP priorities and outlines the roadmap to deliver the commitment made by the Five Year Forward View – “paperless by 2020”. 

Developed in partnership with organisations across the Black Country, the roadmap focuses on, at a high level, the priorities for digital development supporting the health and care economy through four core themes:

  • Empowerment
  • Infrastructure
  • Integration
  • Intelligence

The Black Country Digital Roadmap will continue to evolve as initiatives and projects are delivered and new technologies are evaluated and incorporated in our thinking. All future iterations of the Roadmap will be published on this website.


Making the Case for Integrating Physical and Mental Health Care

A new study highlights gap between physical health and life expectancy among specialist mental health patients in the Black Country and West Birmingham. You can find out more here []


The full Black Country report is available here, along with the output of a stakeholder workshop and a reflection on the different type of patients/service users that STP plans will need to address.


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Patient Opinion