Manchester City Council

Residents asked for struggles and successes in making healthy lifestyle choices

People across Greater Manchester are being asked to share their struggles and successes in making healthy lifestyle choices.

The results of the Taking Charge Together campaign - launched on Monday 15 February – will help shape health and social care plans for the next five years. 

People can join a conversation about everything from exercise to mental health by going to www.takingchargetogether.org.uk and filling in a quick survey, or by attending one of 10 community roadshows being hosted in each of the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester by Key 103. 

The feedback will be used to help Health and Social Care bosses tackle some of the worst health outcomes in the country, by: 

• revealing insight into what the people of Greater Manchester believe blocks or enables healthy choices 

• helping health and care officials to design services that can deliver the greatest and fastest improvement in the region’s health and wellbeing

• identifying great work in the region that can be celebrated and developed at scale across the region 

Greater Manchester’s Director of Population Health Transformation, Wendy Meredith, said: “Traditionally, health organisations have been the ones talking about the health of the population, but we want the 2.8 million people of Greater Manchester to shape the conversation through this innovative campaign.

“Taking Charge Together will help us to get a picture of how people are feeling, what stops them being healthy and what ideas they have to make changes – all this kind of information will help influence future plans for the delivery of health and social care so it is crucial as many people as possible tell us what they think.”

The questions are being posed as Greater Manchester prepares to take charge and responsibility for a £6billion health and social care budget which will be used to tackle some of the worst health problems in the country.

For example, more than two thirds of early deaths in GM are caused by behaviours which could be changed. And, nearly 25% of the GM population have a mental health or wellbeing issue which can affect everything from health to employment, parenting and housing.

Greater Manchester will launch a new-five year vision for health and social care services in April 2016, and therefore health and social care officials are keen to get as many people as possible involved in discussions through the survey and online conversations.

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of GM Health and Social Care Strategic Partnership Board, said: “At the heart of our approach to devolution is an understanding that we need to develop a better, more collaborative, relationship with the people of Greater Manchester - the long term health and wellbeing of the region’s 2.8 million residents will only be secured with their support.

“There is a wealth of knowledge and opinion to tap in to across the region and this campaign provides everybody, from the general public to health and social care employees, with an opportunity to tell us their ideas for improving the health and wellbeing across the region.”

The different elements of the campaign have been designed and overseen by a collaborative group, with representatives from the NHS, local authorities, voluntary and community sectors and the media. The volunteer sector will also play an important role by carrying out over 100 local and regional community events for specific audiences.

Taking Charge Together will target different audiences via three main routes: 

• Community bus outreach events delivered by Key 103, radio and online content and social media messaging. 
• Focus groups - the volunteer and community sectors will talk with audiences who may not normally engage with the public bodies 
• Online survey and conversations – provided by Clever Together - which will target audiences not reached by the two routes above and more specialised audiences such as the 100,000 people who work in health and social care in Greater Manchester. 

To access the survey, visit www.takingchargetogether.org.uk

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