All 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans have been lodged with NHS England, but what they mean for funding and IT projects could take months to untangle.

Thursday was the deadline for submitting both the 44 STPs, and the 83 local digital roadmaps to NHS England.

Together the documents are meant to chart a plan for how NHS trusts will become financially sustainable in the next five years and, among other things, how they will use technology to achieve that goal. The plans are considered an important part of closing the £30 billion gap between funding and demand that is projected by 2020-21.

They are also central to unlocking funding to help reach these goals.

On Friday, a NHS spokesman confirmed that all 44 footprints had been submitted an “initial” STP by the deadline.

However these plans did not “yet have a formal status, and are subject to change based on local and national conversations and further development”.

Instead they would form the basis for meetings this month, between national health organisations, such as NHS England, and local footprint leaders.

These meetings would cover whether these initials STPs were “ambitious, robust and rigorous” enough health to close the health, care and financial gap by 2020-21, and how well they aligned with national priorities.

Once a plan was agreed this would again go back to the footprint areas for further local consultation.

NHS England has previously said STPs will be made public in “waves” stating in autumn.

The local digital roadmaps were also due to be submitted by Thursday. On Friday, NHS England was not yet able to confirm how many roadmaps had been submitted. 

There is no timeframe for when the roadmaps will be made public.

The roadmaps are meant to be a more specific plan, developed by the NHS and care organisations within 83 local roadmap footprints, for how they will become paper-free by 2020.

During a Westminster Health Forum event in London last month, NHS England’s head of digital strategy Dr Paul Rice said the having roadmaps would also help identify opportunities for scaling up local IT solutions.

“That’s part of the ambition of turning the insight of these roadmaps into some real knowledge management strategy.”

Having an approved roadmap will able obligatory for any organisations hoping to get extra NHS England funding to pay for “technology enabled transformation”.

Rice said at the event, that work still needed to be done to ensure the plans and the roadmaps were better matched.