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Tell us: What do you want for the future of your NHS?

PUBLISHED: 08:56 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:56 05 September 2017

Photo: James Bass.

Photo: James Bass.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

It is the biggest shake up of healthcare in a generation - but how many people are aware of exactly what the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Norfolk and Waveney is?

Picture: Denise BradleyPicture: Denise Bradley

In January this year, a national survey found six out of seven people had never heard of the STPs, prompting worries over consultation and consent.

And in our region concerns about transparency were raised last month, at the first public meeting about the plan which was announced in November 2016.

MORE: Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt appointed to guide Norfolk and Waveney through healthcare revolution

Independent chairman of the Sustainability and Transformation (STP) plan for the area, Patricia Hewitt, insisted there were no secret plans, but that the process was just in early days.

But the man responsible for leading the redesign has said more communication was needed with the public.

Nationally, STPs were first announced in December 2015 as NHS England aims to plug a £22bn hole in the health service budget.

MORE: More home births and merging services between three major Norfolk hospitals: How local NHS revolution will affect YOU

STPs cover five years, and provide a backdrop for efficiency savings and new ways of delivering care.

Health chiefs in our region have earmarked £300m of savings between now and 2021 as the cash squeeze tightens and demand for services increases. They have also come up with £150m of proposed investment under their STP.

Across the country, England has been divided into 44 areas - known as ‘footprints’ - with an average population of 1.2m people each. Representations from each NHS organisation and local authority are brought under the STP.

OPINION: The public must have a say in the future of healthcare provision in Norfolk and Suffolk

Together, the aim is to reorganise services and fill the gap which would otherwise be left in the health and social care budget by 2021.

In our region it is estimated the NHS would see a £440m budget deficit by 2020 if nothing was done, with our STP focussing on care in the community and prevention in a bid to bring costs down.

MORE: Hospital closures ruled out by NHS chiefs as councillors discuss new health plan

Take our survey to tell us what you want for the future of the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney and have your say.

• For more information on the STP, click here.

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