Green Councillors are demanding that no further action is taken to establish a ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ (STP) for the Brighton and Hove area until better and wider consultation with the public is secured about the plans for the NHS.
Council will consider whether to cooperate any further with plans to make cuts to the NHS, following a motion from the Green Group of councillors being put to full council today Thursday 15th. 
The Green Group have been vocal about their concerns with the ‘STP,’ which outlines how local health services will have to make close to £864m in savings.  All local NHS areas – known as ‘STP footprints’ – are expected to inform central government on how they will ‘balance the budget’ in order to be eligible for any future NHS funding.
Green Councillors, Party MP Caroline Lucas and campaign group Sussex Defend the NHS have expressed alarm that the local plan– also dubbed ‘slash, trash and privatise’ is being drawn up ‘behind closed doors’ with no prior consultation or contact with professional organisations, staff and the public.
There are fears that the proposals will irreparably damage emergency services such as A&E, hospital beds and force people into paying for healthcare, with draft plans projecting cuts including £112 million to be taken out of the social care sector. Across the UK, several local authorities have refused to cooperate further with STPs,  highlighting the lack of meaningful consultation, political involvement and plans being drawn up ‘in secret’. STP plans nationwide have also been condemned by the British Medical Association as projects that will ‘starve services.’ 
Green Councillor Lizzie Deane, who sits on the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, commented:
“At recent health committees councillors from across the political parties have made clear their distress at the ‘STP’ plans, whose so-called ‘savings’ are actually likely to bring our local services to their knees. We must make sure that consultation is effective, far-reaching and not just a ‘rubber stamp’ for a plan that the public and politicians have been kept away from.
For an issue as critical as this we need to move beyond party politics so it is our hope that parties will think twice about how this is managed, so that everyone can have a free say in the future of our NHS. Other local authorities have moved to reject or postpone the STP proposals for their area so we are hoping that until we see real consultation, Brighton and Hove will do the same.”
As part of their request to full council, the Green Group will also be calling for a new, cross-party meeting with all other councils in the area affected by the local STP plan, in the hope that they will consider informing local NHS leaders of their objections to the proposals.
1) Green Councillor’s Notice of Motion – Item 56c
2) Current STP report – http://www.brightonandhoveccg.nhs.uk/your-services/sustainability-and-transformation-plan
3) Other areas that have refused to cooperate further with STP plans include Bradford, Leeds and Calderdale, Croydon, Kingston, North Central London: Camden, Islington, Brent, Barnet, Enfield, Kirklees
4) Dr Mark Porter, BMA Council Chair has warned against transformation plans being used as a cover for delivering cuts, starving services of resource and patients of vital care: http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/14917552.British_Medical_Association_warn_that_NHS_plans_could_be_used_to_cover_up_cuts/?ref=rl&lp=3