Plans are being drawn up that could see cuts to NHS services across England. The BBC has seen draft sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) which propose ward closures, cuts in bed numbers and changes to A&E and GP care in 44 areas. There have been no consultations on the plans so far. NHS England, which needs to find £22bn in efficiency savings by 2020-21, said reorganising local services is essential to improve patient care. But the Nuffield Trust think tank said while STPs could lead to “fundamental changes”, many of the plans do not meet the financial targets set by the government and will face a “dauntingly large implementation task”. Laura Townshend, director of the campaign group 38 Degrees, said the plans had received very little public or political scrutiny. She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “A key concern is why it hasn’t been this transparent up until now.”These plans are due to be signed off this October – a matter of weeks away”.

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