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Options appraisal

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Please be aware that, due to the current situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) all efforts of local health and care partners are focussed on supporting the frontline.

This means, for a time, other programmes aimed at the long-term transformation of services are being placed on hold.

We will therefore be delaying a number of activities, including the options appraisal process and development of our Pre-Consultation Business Case. Find out more here.

Our work so far:

The feedback we gathered during the listening exercise, is now being used by clinicians and staff to develop proposals to improve health and care services. No decisions have been made at this early stage of development. 

Our clinically led work programmes have used the feedback, alongside early data analysis and clinical feedback to develop a long list of proposals.

A group of technical experts, including medical directors and clinicians from our partners, have been working to refine this long list of proposals into a future short list.

In Autumn 2019, the group considered the long list against ‘essential criteria’. No proposals can be taken forward if they do not meet these criteria:

  • Clinical sustainability
  • Meets national and local strategy
  • Meets the need of the population.

During Winter 2020 the technical group is assessing emerging proposals against factors such as workforce, demand and capacity and estates. This will help refine the list further.

At this stage there are still a large number of potential scenarios, which will be further explored and refined by our technical experts over the coming months.

The next step is for us to use ‘desirable criteria’ to score all of the proposals, for example quality of care or accessibility. These ‘desirable criteria’ are informed by the feedback we received from the listening exercise, staff and service user workshops.  

Transformation work is currently on hold and will continue once coronavirus is beaten.

Involving service users and the workforce

As we develop future proposals, we are continuing our ongoing dialogue with representatives of service users and the workforce.

Through a series of workshops, we are seeking to understand:

  • Your perspective on the clinical models and emerging proposals
  • Any potential impact or alternative solutions that we need to consider when developing the proposals
  • Your views on the ‘desirable criteria’ we should use to score the proposals
  • How you would score the proposals, based on the ‘desirable criteria’. 

October and November 2019

We held three options appraisal workshops across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent with members of local patient groups, partners and voluntary sector representatives. These sessions took place at the end of October 2019 and gave us valuable insight to inform the development of 'desirable criteria', which would be used when weighting any future proposals.

A staff workshop was also held for colleagues from across the health and care system at the beginning of November 2019, which was very well attended. You can see a summary of the feedback we received in this findings report. 

January 2020 – Desirable Criteria Workshop

On the 27 January 2020 we invited our Local Representatives, patient groups, protected characteristic group representatives and workforce representatives to a workshop. This aimed to sense check the ‘desirable criteria’ that we propose to use to score future proposals. 

We discussed with the group, how we have used the feedback we were given through the listening exercise and in Autumn 2019 to develop our proposed ‘desirable criteria’:

  • Quality of care
  • Accessibility
  • Meets local needs. 

We are currently reviewing the feedback we received at this workshop before making a final decision on the ‘desirable criteria’.

Future workshops

Once this transformation work can be resumed, we will hold further workshops where our representatives will use the agreed criteria to score the list of emerging proposals, helping us to refine this further.

This feedback will then be used by our technical experts to inform the short list of proposals that will be taken forward for more detailed analysis. Before any final recommendations are made, detailed financial, travel and population analysis will be carried out.

More workshops with the public and workforce are being planned over the coming months to help inform these proposals and dates for these will be released shortly.

If you would like to take part in our further workshops please email us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 or call 01785 276926.

Pre Consultation Business Case

All of this work is leading us towards the development of a Pre Consultation Business Case and this work will be resumed as soon as possible, recognising the current situation around coronavirus.

This is detailed document that sets out the case for change and the options for transforming services. It includes the detailed financial, travel and impact analysis. At this stage, all options need to be viable in terms of financial and clinical sustainability.  

This Pre Consultation Business Case would be reviewed by the CCGs. If they agree, the next step would be to seek assurance from NHS England.

If this work identifies substantial changes may be needed, there will be further opportunities for people to get involved before final decisions are made.

You can read more about our timeline and the assurance stage on our What is this about? page. 

You can also find out more about the process we follow to involve people, by watching our short animation. 

Options appraisal findings presentation