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Accountable Care Organisations and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships

Question for Department of Health

UIN 107452, tabled on 12 October 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what national consultations the Government has undertaken on (a) sustainability and transformation partnerships and (b) accountable care organisations.

Answered on

19 October 2017

The Government has not undertaken a national consultation on Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). STPs are about local areas making decisions and ensuring National Health Service services are on a sustainable footing, and provide the best possible care for local people.

The statutory organisations involved within STPs are accountable to local communities through their normal processes. Each is working to its own, locally appropriate timetable but many have already carried out extensive engagement with the public. In September 2016 NHS England published “Engaging local people: A guide for local areas developing Sustainability and Transformation Plans”. This document outlines the expectations on stakeholder involvement and in particular patient and public participation. A copy is attached.

When there are proposals to substantially change the local configuration of services, NHS and local government organisations have a duty to consult their local communities. There are longstanding rules in place to assure this.

Following an engagement exercise, NHS England produced a draft contract (a prototype variant of the NHS Standard Contract) which could be used, with NHS England’s agreement, by commissioners to contract for an accountable care organisation (ACO). The contract will be formally consulted upon in due course in compliance with NHS England’s statutory duties.

The Department is currently consulting on a number of changes to secondary legislation which are designed to facilitate the development of ACOs. Further details can be accessed here: