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03
Mar

Manchester agreement aims to put people in the driving seat


Greater Manchester and NHS England have announced groundbreaking plans around the future of health and social care with a signed memorandum agreeing to bring together health and social care budgets – a combined sum of £6bn.

Greater Manchester and NHS England have announced groundbreaking plans around the future of health and social care with a signed memorandum agreeing to bring together health and social care budgets – a combined sum of £6bn.


This move sees NHS England, 12 NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, 15 NHS providers and 10 local authorities agree a framework for health and social care – with plans for joint decision-making on integrated care to support physical, mental and social wellbeing.


The Memorandum of Understanding, approved and countersigned by the Chancellor and the Health Secretary, puts local people in the driving seat for deciding on health and care services that suit Greater Manchester. NHS England says it will also help in the long-term to ease pressure on hospitals while focusing on services in the community that bring health and social care closer to home.

 

Integrated care in Greater Manchester will focus more on preventative work in the community – putting strategies in place to keep people well and as independent as possible.

 

NHS England has agreed all plans with the Greater Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS providers and local councils to cement a place-based approach to join up health and social care. This approach helps to realise the vision set out in the NHS’s Five Year Forward View.


This historic agreement does not require any reorganisation of the NHS or its principles. It also builds on the work of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the innovative devolution settlement with Government on November 3 (2014) – and is a significant step closer to the area’s ambition of full devolution of public spending.


The scope of the Memorandum of Understanding includes the entire health and social care system in Greater Manchester, including adult, primary and social care, mental health and community services and public health. The second part of the agreement provides a framework for strategies around governance and regulation, resources and finances, the property estate, health education, workforce and information sharing and systems to be brought together.

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says: “Today’s agreement with the council leaders of Greater Manchester and NHS England is a major step forward in our plans to build a Northern Powerhouse. When I signed the deal with local councils here to devolve more power to Greater Manchester and to create a new elected mayor, I always hoped that a bigger say over healthcare would be part of the package. Things have happened even more swiftly than we had all hoped at the time, and now we have a landmark agreement to bring the local NHS and social care much more closely together.”

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, adds: “This is another defining moment in Greater Manchester’s devolution journey. The scope and nature of this unprecedented agreement means we are proudly breaking new ground once more.


“I want to make absolutely clear that this is not, as it has been wrongly portrayed in some quarters, a town hall takeover of Greater Manchester’s NHS budget. We will be working together with our NHS colleagues in the region to make joint decisions which reflect local priorities. Ultimately this will be via a new strategic health and social care partnership board. This is about decisions about Greater Manchester being taken in Greater Manchester in an integrated way, not being taken away from experts.”


For more on this story see the March/April issue of Pulse.

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