The latest stage of Devo Manc takes place this morning as health chiefs will gather to sign a major agreement to create a united, single leadership for public health across Greater Manchester
In what is a unique move for Greater Manchester the deal places more emphasis on prevention and early intervention to stop people becoming ill so that they can remain independent and have the best family, work and lifestyle opportunities.
It also outlines major programmes on the connection between health, work and the economy; ways to help people have more knowledge and control about their health, the importance of good early years care and keeping well and connected to friends as we get older.
The agreement, which is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), has been made possible after the groundbreaking Greater Manchester Health and Care devolution deal announced in February.
All the programmes of work are being funded through current public health allocations and evidence on the link between health and the economy will also be presented as part of a joint submission to the Spending Review in autumn.
Today’s public health news covers each of the ten Greater Manchester areas (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan), and is then driven by the local plans for each of those areas and their own health and wellbeing boards.
Steven Pleasant, Lead Local Authority Chief Executive for Public Health in Greater Manchester, said: “This is a unique opportunity for public health to bridge the gap between the NHS and the economy. We know that if we can help people to stay well there will ultimately be less demand on health services. This then keeps the health service sustainable while keeping people in work and gaining skills for the region.”
Councillor Cliff Morris, Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s lead for health, said: “This move is even more momentous because it is giving power to Greater Manchester people to shape their own futures which is a key part of the Greater Manchester Strategy.
“We are now able to have local control over local needs while working with our national colleagues in public health and NHS England. This is a first in the country and all eyes will be on Greater Manchester as we start this powerful alliance.”
Early work within the MOU will focus on vascular disease, the Greater Manchester Alcohol Strategy, combining the work of emergency services to help with integrated health and care arrangements, and increasing the uptake of health checks across Greater Manchester.