Manchester City Council

The Council & democracy Health Scrutiny Committee

Our Current Investigations

Over the next couple of months the Committee will be looking at the following areas of work:

  • Suicide and Self Harm
  • Female Genital Muitlation 
  • NHS Finance

12/02/15 - Cancer Services in Manchester

The February meeting was dedicated to looking at services and support available to cancer patients and their families. Cancer affects a large number of people in Manchester  and the Committee welcomed the opportunity to discuss this subject area in detail .

The Committee invited representatives from the local NHS teams, Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and Public Health Manchester to explain what they are doing and what services are being developed to support cancer patients in Manchester .  The focus is on early detection and treatment of cancers, especially lung and breast cancer. This is being achieved through outreach work such as Roadshows supported by specialist nurses, and Cancer Champions working alongside and supporting GPs so that patients who are at risk of developing cancer can be identified at an earlier stage.

The Committee welcomed that referrals of patients from GPs to hospitals with a suspected diagnosis had increased by 25%. This demonstrated that awareness of cancer had increased and that by having an earlier referral this will result in an earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Members were also told of the move to establish specialist centres to treat patients diagnosed with rarer cancers, and they also heard of the internationally recognised research that is undertaken at The Christie and the University of Manchester .

The Committee expressed their thanks to all those who care for and support cancer patients and their families in Manchester . They called for all GP practices to sign up to and deliver those programmes that are designed to assist and support patients with cancer.

The Committee agreed to continue to monitor these services and to receive an update at a future meeting of the Committee.


20/11/2014 - Budget Savings Options for the Children and Families Directorate


At the November meeting the Committee discussed the proposed Budget options that fall within the remit of the Health Scrutiny Committee that are currently being consulted upon. Members also heard from representatives from The Pankhurst Trust (Incorporating Manchester Women's Aid) and the Manchester Mental Health Users' Network who responded to the options relating to both Mental Health Services and services to those victims of domestic violence.

The Committee discussed the difficult options that are being considered and asked that officers provided further information on the budget options for further consideration at the Committee’s December meeting.

The members of the Committee also asked for a break down of the numbers of people affected by each service change included in the options. The Chair reminded everyone present that the Health Scrutiny Committee will have the opportunity to explore these options further at both the December and January meetings before any final budget decisions are made by the Executive.


25/09/2014 - Healthier Together

At the September meeting the members of the Committee received a presentation regarding the Healthier Together programme. This is a proposed redesign of NHS Hospital services in Greater Manchester which is currently out for consultation.

The Committee received a presentation from Dr Nick Lees, Consultant General at Salford Royal Hospital and Dr Ivan Benett, Primary Care Clinical Champion. They informed the Committee that the ambition is to create a number of General Hospitals across Greater Manchester that are complemented by a number of Specialist Hospitals. General Hospitals will have an Accident and Emergency Department; they will provide general surgery operations for adults and provide testing and outpatients care. Specialist Hospitals will provide this same level of service and in addition provide care for the very sick, deliver intensive care for complex patients and emergency and high risk surgery.

Dr Lees informed the Health Scrutiny Committee that the decision to reconfigure services is driven by clinicians as this will raise standards in all hospitals and ultimately save more patient lives. He further advised that the majority of patients will continue to received their care from a General Hospital and the decision as to which hospitals will be designated as Specialist Hospitals will be decided following completion of the consultation exercise.

Mr Richard Montague, Consultant Surgeon from Wythenshawe Hospital, informed the Committee that both he and the hospital supported the overall aims of Healthier Together as it will provide a better service for patients. He did however state that he was surprised that Wythenshawe Hospital had not been identified as a Specialist Hospital . The Committee agreed with this and further stated that as Wythenshawe Hospital is already providing specialist treatment services; has existing links to the motorway; is close to the airport and has good access via public transport strengthens the argument that Wythenshawe Hospital should be designated as a Specialist Hospital .

The Committee fully endorsed the opinion that Wythenshawe Hospital should be allocated Specialist Hospital status, and they made a number of recommendations following consideration of Healthier Together. These agreed recommendations were submitted as part of the Healthier Together consultation.


28/08/2014 - NHS Health Checks

At the August meeting the Committee received an update about the NHS Health Checks Programme. These are checks that are designed to identify health issues and promote positive changes to a person’s lifestyle to help prevent the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This programme of Health Checks can also help people with advice on how to stop smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure testing and weight advice.

The Committee were informed that these checks are delivered via GPs surgeries and the use of the First Stop Heath Bus. Members welcomed the use of the bus as it is very effective because it can be taken to those neighbourhoods to ensure that it reaches those residents who would benefit the most from it.

The Committee welcomed the delivery of health checks and recognised the benefits of these to residents within the city. Members were however disappointed to learn of the low number of GPs offering these checks. The Director of Public Health stated that they are looking into this and the Committee recommended that steps should be taken to encourage all GP practices to offer NHS Health Checks.

Members also asked that officers circulate information regarding the dates and times of scheduled visits for the First Stop Health Bus. Members agreed that they can be promote this service when speaking with people in their wards.

20/03/2014 - Summary of the year

Over the previous 12 months the Health Scrutiny Committee has continued to examine how the Council and its partners in the NHS deliver health and social care services to improve the health and wellbeing of Manchester residents.

Consideration has been given to a wide range of topics ranging from Health Visitors, Mental Health Services, services for Asthma and Diabetes patients and the provision of Pharmacies across the city.

In particular the Committee has closely continued to monitor the impact of the closure and relocation of Walk-in Centres. The Committee had strongly objected to, and made representations against the closure of the Ancoats Primary Care Centre and Wythenshawe Forum Walk-in Centre. The objection arose as the Committee was of the opinion that the closure would have a detrimental impact on patient choice as residents were unable to secure same day access to see a GP.

The Committee has continued to closely monitor the impact of these closures on the local community, and continue to press the local NHS providers and the sector regulator for same day patient access to GPs.

06/03/2014 - Non Emergency Patient Transport Services
At its meeting of 6 March the Health Scrutiny Committee considered a report on Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS) in Greater Manchester. The Committee was concerned that poor figures around patient waiting times missed appointments and complaints that had been obtained. The Committee felt that this level of service was unacceptable. Representative from Arriva, the company that operate the service, and Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who awarded the contract to Arriva in 2013 attended to the meeting.

06/02/2014 - Walk-in Centres
At its meeting of 6 February the Health Scrutiny Committee considered a report on the Walk-in Centre services at North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) and University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM - Wythenshawe Hospital). The Committee had resisted the closure of the Walk-in Centres at Ancoats and Wythenshawe Forum which had been re-located at UHSM and NMGH and felt strongly that Walk-in Centres were vital for those residents not registered with a GP or who couldn’t get an appointment. Representatives from Monitor attended the meeting. Monitor are the sector regulator for health services in England, they protect and promote the interests of patients and are currently undertaking a national review of Walk-in Centres. The Committee has contributed to the review.

12/12/2013 - Accident and Emergency (A&E) University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) Wythenshawe Hospital
Following recent concerns in the press about pressure on the A&E Dept at Wythenshawe Hospital the Chair invited NHS England to attend our December meeting to address these issues. The Committee was concerned that despite assurances that the impact on Wythenshawe would be minimal following the closure of Trafford Services this was not what was being reported. NHS England informed the Committee that it was too early to draw any conclusions as only two weeks had passed since the Trafford Service had changed. The Committee was advised that the information so far indicated that patient flow was broadly in line with what was expected; and that the turn around time for the North West Ambulance Service was not outside accepted levels. The Committee noted that the Manchester and Trafford Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) would be meeting again in January 2014 and were monitoring the impact of the changes to Trafford Services during the implementation stage. The Committee noted that additional funding was required as soon as possible to support the A&E Department and admissions at Wythenshawe Hospital and asked to be fully updated on how the additional funding was to be spent. 


Get Involved

To find out more information have a look at our full work programme.  This includes what topics we will be looking at, what specific issues we will be considering and who we will be hearing from.  Please bear in mind that the programme is continually updated, and so dates and agenda items may change from those listed in the programme.

If there's an issue you want to contribute to, let us know.  You can either send a written contribution to or you can attend a meeting and ask the Chair if you can speak.  You can also suggest a topic for us to look into by filling in our 'suggestions form.' 

If you want to speak to somebody about contributing to the committee, please call our scrutiny support officer on 0161 234 3011 or e mail

The Role of the Committee

Councillor Eddie Newman

"As members of the Health Scrutiny Committee, we are dedicated to looking at how the Council and its partners in the NHS deliver health and social care services to improve the health and wellbeing of Manchester residents. We take a broad view of the health and social care services that are commissioned and provided by both the NHS and the Council so that we can make recommendations about how they can improve these services for you.

Our areas of interest include social care for adults, health inequalities, health services, the protection and safeguarding of adults in receipt of health and social care services, mental health and wellbeing, experiences and outcomes for patients, public health and healthy living.

Through this page you'll be able to keep in touch with what we've been doing, find out what we'll be investigating over the next few months and how you can get involved." Councillor Eddy Newman, Chair of Health Scrutiny Committee

 Find out more



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