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Letter from Marcus Warnes, Senior Responsible Officer for the System Transformation Programme/ Accountable Officer for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs, and Peter Axon, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care System:

Dear colleague

We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the latest developments in the systemwide transformation programme.

Today, we are publishing several reports of findings relating to involvement activity undertaken since last summer.

These reports support a number of key priorities identified by the Together We’re Better partnership. These priorities recognise the challenges we face as a system, including the need to maintain adequate staffing levels with the right mix of skills, support an ageing population with increased complex needs and restore clinical and financial sustainability.

These issues are being faced both nationally and locally. However, we need to produce solutions that work well for our population across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The reports of findings cover:

The work on seeking the views of staff, service users and public was originally started in 2019-20, but was paused in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were restarted during the summer of 2021 using a range of techniques to reach people in a manner that was COVID-safe amid varied and changing restrictions.

The reports of findings from the 2019-20 and 2021 involvement activity provide a wealth of comments that our clinicians and professionals will use, as we develop future proposals for service change.

The programme is committed to continuing to involve staff, service users and other interested and seldom-heard groups to inform the development of proposals and a tailored approach to further involvement will be taken for each programme, as appropriate.

The programme continues to work with the Consultation Institute to take a best practice approach and the process will support the development of a future shortlist of proposals that will inform the business cases.

This is an important milestone in a critical programme that will help the CCGs and system to tackle the clinical and financial challenges we collectively face.

We will continue to update you as our work progresses.

*This relates to services previously provided to patients at the George Bryan Centre, Tamworth. The centre was badly damaged by fire in February 2019. This work has been led by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

**Difficult Decisions relate to a number of procedures where commissioning varies across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. These are: assisted conception; hearing aids for non-complex hearing loss; male and female sterilisation; breast augmentation and reconstruction; removal of excess skin following significant weight loss

The reports can be found here:

More information on the background to these programmes can be found on the Together We’re Better website.

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