The changes being made

Devolution and the region’s population health plan 2017–2021 are starting to make a real difference to communities. So far, the partners have:

  • Published ‘Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in 2016’, a five-year plan for improving health and social care. This was followed by a number of priority health and care strategies for the region including an early years strategy so that more children can start school ready to learn.
  • Worked with partners to develop a tobacco-free strategy
  • Launched a £1.5 million action plan to improve children’s oral health in Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Bolton
  • Signed an agreement with Sport England to increase physical activity
  • Taken a joined-up approach to tackling dehydration and malnutrition in older people
  • Appointed a cycling and walking commissioner (Chris Boardman) and published a plan to transform the city region into a world class place for cycling and walking
  • Increased access to flu vaccination via pharmacies and extended the schools programme
  • Started offering healthy lifestyle interventions to people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Other programmes underway include:

  • Mental health: £134 million investment to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health. Achievements so far include agreeing a suicide prevention plan, improved community and crisis support for children and young people, training and support networks for mental health workers, becoming a national mental health and employment trailblazer and more people receiving psychological therapies. A Greater Manchester Resilience Hub was also set up in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 to support affected people all over the country.
  • Dementia: Investment of more than £2 million to support the development of toolkits, resources and networks to support people with dementia by, for example, encouraging more pharmacies to become dementia-friendly.
  • Cancer: CT scanners sited in shopping centre car parks to help diagnose lung disease earlier in smokers and former smokers. After 12 months, the pilot quadrupled the rate of early diagnosis, with 75 people diagnosed, 80 per cent at a more curable early stage.
  • Cancer champions: Recruitment of over 5,000 ‘cancer champions’ – volunteers ready to talk about cancer in their local community, advise on healthy behaviours, and encourage local people to get screened and have any concerns checked out.
  • Stroke: 24/7 access to urgent assessments including scans, clot busting treatments and care from specialist stroke staff, meaning the region now provides ‘A’ rated stroke care.
  • Improved community services: Local care organisations where CCGs and local councils work together much more closely. For example, in Wigan, community nurses work alongside social care workers, enablement staff and therapists to provide seamless support to residents with long-term conditions.
  • Transforming primary care: A new primary care strategy, an extra £41 million invested in GP practices over four years and new primary care standards to encourage services to work together more closely and reduce variation in care across the region.
  • Pharmacy: Pharmacists in GP surgeries in Trafford to assess and treat patients and take responsibility for patients with chronic diseases by undertaking clinical medication reviews, making it quicker and easier for many patients to receive treatment.
  • Ophthalmology: New workforce models being trialled in Bolton to increase capacity and reduce reliance on ophthalmic practitioners and doctors. A new pathway for glaucoma and wet AMD will provide 5,000 more appointments in 2018/19, reducing waiting times and pressure on acute services.
  • Transforming urgent and emergency care: In winter 2017/18 the Greater Manchester urgent and emergency care operational hub launched. This monitors activity across hospitals across the region, enabling teams to predict and respond to any pressures building up in A&E and provide early warnings, which helps staff keep waiting times down and provide fast and appropriate care for patients.
  • Person-centred care: Bespoke support for every locality to implement ‘person-centred’ approaches using an agreed but adaptable framework. Person-centred care is about working with individuals on what matters to them. For example, in health this is not just about a treatment or medication, but is also about personal goals, motivations, interests and the help that people can draw from family/carers and their community. Asking ‘what matters to you?’ rather than ‘what’s the matter with you?’ generates a different response and solution.
  • Learning disabilities: Local people with learning disabilities and/or autism are being brought from long stay hospitals elsewhere into community care in Greater Manchester. At March 2018, with the right support, the partnership had safely transferred and resettled 50 people. Being transferred into community care increases independence and choice and provides better access to activities and opportunities.