Sustainability and Transformation Plans

In December 2015, the NHS shared planning guidance 16/17 – 20/21 outlined a new approach to help ensure that health and care services are built around the needs of local populations. To do this, every health and care system in England will produce a multi-year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), showing how local services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years – ultimately delivering the Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved NHS efficiency.

To deliver plans that are based on the needs of local populations, local health and care systems came together in January 2016 to form 44 STP ‘footprints’. The health and care organisations within these geographic footprints are working together to develop STPs which will help drive genuine and sustainable transformation in patient experience and health outcomes of the longer-term.

The footprints should be locally defined, based on natural communities, existing working relationships, patient flows and take account of the scale needed to deliver the services, transformation and public health programmes required, along with how they best fit with other footprints. Download the map of STP footprints in England.

Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) leaders have now been agreed in the majority of areas. These senior figures have agreed to convene the STP process and to oversee the development of local plans. They have been selected following local discussions about who is best placed to play this role, together with discussions with national bodies.

STPs footprints are not statutory bodies, but collective discussion forums which aim to bring together health and care leaders to support the delivery of improved health and care based on the needs of local populations. They do not replace existing local bodies, or change local accountabilities.

STPs will be submitted in June, with a view to implementation starting in Autumn 2016.

The partners

STPs are a key element on the NHS Shared Planning Guidance and the local implementation of the Five Year Forward View. They are supported by six of the national health and care bodies: NHS England, NHS Improvement, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Health Education England (HEE), Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Further information

You can find out more about the programme by looking at the frequently asked questions page. For more details about STPs, email You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following: @NHSEngland or by using the hashtag: #futureNHS.