Dr Bill Gowans, Medical Director for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent STP
“The vision for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) is one of helping people to stay well, and to receive the majority of the care they need closer to home. This involves looking at how we can get the right services out into the community and help people live healthier lives. If we can get that right, then a trip to A&E should go back to being for accidents and emergencies only, rather than what it has slowly become, which is the default option for urgent care.
“We know that A&Es across the country are currently under significant pressure to deliver the 95% 4 hour target amid rising demand and the impact of an ageing population with complex health needs, as well as cuts to social care. We want to acknowledge and thank all of the staff who work hard within these departments, day in, day out, during a challenging time.
“The focus on A&Es is premature at this stage in the development of the STP and our priorities in the shorter term will be to concentrate on finding the right solution for our communities based on helping keep people well and out of hospital where we can. We will be doing this work in partnership with stakeholders, staff and the general public and welcome all input and feedback.”