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County denies agreement on STP next phase

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The chief executive of Leicestershire CC has denied reports that councils will decide this month on whether to establish an accountable care system (ACS) across its sustainability and transformation partnership footprint.

A report to University Hospitals of Leicester Trust’s board published this week says the plan would be considered by Leicestershire, Leicester City Council and Rutland CC following “clear messages” from NHS England and NHS Improvement.

“This is not about ‘whether’ an ACS but ‘when’,” the report states.

But Leicestershire chief executive John Sinnott rejected the claim that a decision on establishing an ACS was imminent.

He said: “It is not correct that the county council will be considering a plan for an accountable care system in its area as reported and as implied in a paper written by NHS organisations.

“The paper is headed as from the STP leadership team, an officer body, but, at the last meeting of that team, it was made clear that there was no agreement from the local authorities to progress the paper through their decision making processes.”

LGC understands Leicester and Rutland have also not agreed to consider the proposal this month.

Mr Sinnott has previously been critical of STP process, describing it as “the latest NHS England performance management tool” in a recent piece for LGC.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland STP has been rated “advanced” by NHS England and Mr Sinnott added that his council has good relations with local NHS organisations.

He said: “At this stage, however, a lot more work is needed on the STP before it goes to consultation in 2018 and on the ACS concept, where the NHS bodies need to come to their own agreed position before involving the local authorities.”

The report states that “phase one” of developing an ACS would see a single leadership team created with clinical and executive directors for key portfolios collectively managing a system control total. An accountability framework would be formalised through a memorandum of understanding.

In June NHS England unveiled the first eight ACSs across the country.

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