Our five year plan to improve local health and care services across Surrey Heartlands – our Sustainability and Transformation Plan

“Our plan is to work together as one area to improve public services and make sure we have sustainable, high quality health and care services for the long term.”

Across Surrey Heartlands, we are bringing together clinicians and other health and care staff – alongside patients, their carers and families and members of the public – to think through how we can transform services so local residents have access to the very best care and treatments.  This is a new and exciting way of working, creating a real partnership that will make a positive difference to local people.

Working together:

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (acute hospital services)
  • Central Surrey Health (delivering community services across Surrey Downs)
  • Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust (acute hospital services)
  • Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group
  • North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (acute hospital services)
  • South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (ambulance services)
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (delivering mental health services across Surrey)
  • Surrey County Council (adult and children’s social care services)
  • Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Virgin Care (delivering community services across West Surrey)

Bringing everyone together to plan how we get the best possible care for every patient – meeting all their health and care needs including medical care, mental health and social care.

Surrey Heartlands covers the central and western parts of Surrey; those areas currently looked after by Surrey Downs, North West Surrey and Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Groups.


In December 2015, the Government asked local health and care organisations to work together across larger areas to plan services over the next five years and deliver the NHS vision (known as the Five Year Forward View).  These plans are expected to be ambitious, improving services for local residents to offer the very best care and treatments, and at the same time making sure they are sustainable over time.

The challenge

The NHS is under enormous pressure – with increasing demand, the costs of more sophisticated treatments, workforce pressures and a challenging financial environment – which we see almost daily in the media.  And whilst every day our skilled and dedicated staff offer fantastic care for patients, it’s clear the current system isn’t working as well as it should and doesn’t reflect how services need to be delivered.  This presents us with a real opportunity to transform health and social care, working alongside clinicians and local residents to develop services in a new and different way.

These plans are called Sustainability and Transformation Plans, and neighbouring health and care services have joined together in geographical areas where it makes sense for organisations to work together.

Each area has been asked to address what have been identified by NHS England as the three big ‘gaps’:

  1. Health and wellbeing – promoting healthier lifestyles and supporting people to take responsibility for their own health
  2. Care and quality – making sure everyone has access to the very best care and treatments
  3. Finance and efficiency – making sure health and care organisations get best value for money, eliminating waste and keep within budget

What has happened so far?

The organisations within Surrey Heartlands have been working together to develop their plan, focusing on six key clinical areas:

  • Urgent and emergency care
  • Mental health
  • Women and children’s services
  • Cardiovascular services
  • Musculoskeletal services
  • Cancer

These discussions, building on what local people have already told us about how these services are provided, have helped to inform a draft plan. These initial ideas are part of discussions with NHS England and other national regulators and the first draft plan was submitted at the end of June.

Our draft plan includes four key themes:

  • Creation of a Surrey Heartlands clinical academy so clinicians can work together and agree common standards so all local residents have access to the same high quality standards of care
  • To promote self-care and encourage and support residents to take more responsibility for their own healthcare
  • To improve the way we provide services – with more care in the community, and single centres for some of the most specialist hospital services (creating expertise and improving outcomes)
  • Working as one – moving towards one budget and one overall plan for the Surrey Heartlands area

We are in the early stages of our thinking and are working closely with clinicians and wider staff to start developing a more detailed joint plan for the next five years.  No firm plans have yet been agreed. This autumn we are starting wider engagement with local residents, building on previous work we have been doing with patients and stakeholders, and will continue to engage with local people and a range of stakeholders as these plans develop.

This whole process is about improving care for local residents, giving patients equal access to the best care and treatments across the Surrey Heartlands area and supporting people to take more responsibility for their own health.

Next steps

We now want to develop these initial plans further, working in partnership with staff, stakeholders and local residents, before submitting a more detailed plan later in the year.

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