Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) have forged between local NHS organisations and councils in 44 areas covering the whole of England, with the aim of improving public health and care for users in each individual area. This is a big step towards providing appropriate, community-focused health and social care adapted to the needs of populations living in each area across the country, but it is also a major challenge to plan and implement.



The role of the NHS and local government: working together 

STPs bring together NHS organisations and Local Authorities to draw up proposals tailored to specific local populations and their health and care needs. Drawing on staff experience, the expertise and observations of frontline workers and conversations with the communities that they serve, local NHS organisations can take their ideas and priorities to local councils and put plans in place to support local communities in an appropriate and collaborative way.


This collaborative approach aims at STP’s to incorporate the needs of an entire area into planning and policymaking. As with any collaborative approach, the challenges are obvious. Systems will need to be in place for sharing, viewing and analysing large amounts of data that focuses on different, and possibly conflicting, priorities. This data will not just come from two separate sources but from many different organisations and individuals.


Factoring in data


There is no doubt that STPs can be successful and collaborations are already in place with positive results.  There are clearly many component factors which will determine success, but at the heart of each individual plan, there needs to be a strong emphasis on collaborative programme and project management.


These programmes work best underpinned by a framework of data collection and data collaboration to enable individuals and organisations to make decisions based upon its findings.


This is easier said than done with the amount of information that needs assimilated. The challenge, of course, is not only to analyse and report on this information but also use it in practical ways that lead to plans that actually solve the issues within local communities. Easy and effective collaboration and integration leads to better data and better planning; therefore, the right tools and processes are vital.


Hereford and Worcester STP Case Study


Case studies on existing STPs are already showing how important that the right tools and processes need to be if these programmes are to see successful and efficient implementation. Hereford and Worcester STP identified the necessity of a functional and user-friendly digital collaboration system to help streamline processes and documentation, enabling a comprehensive overview of programme information with a single click.


The Hereford & Worcestershire STP involved using cloud-based project management software, clearly showing how good practice in these programmes relies on the right tools and processes and not just on individual commitment to change and improvement. The case study revealed that the success of the project stemmed from the ability to develop a virtual team across multiple organisations, which allowed for easy communication and data exchange across the entire Health and Care System.


Specific achievements highlighted in this case study include:


  • The ability to allow CCGs to deliver briefings to all staff regarding changes to programme management
  • A streamlined process to simplify and clearly communicate the vast amounts of sharable data, rather than only sharing individual spreadsheets and Word documents
  • The opportunity for all team members to share, view and edit programme information via a centralised, “single-view” platform


Too often, the work of the NHS and local government experiences setbacks, not from lack of knowledge or political willpower but from the sheer amount of data and number of people involved in making significant changes to existing systems. The importance of using the right technology does not often receive priority, but when it comes to planning and implementing complex, data-driven changes of the type being employed in these STP programmes, this technology can make a significant impact.


To see what Verto can do to improve the outcomes of your existing project management techniques, contact us at  or +44 (0)118 334 6200 for a demo!