Manchester City Council

GM decides for GM

I've been a bit dilatory with blogging of late. As a one-finger typist I'm always tempted to put it off but last week's events, particularly around health, have motivated me to pull my finger out, if only to correct a lot of the miscommunication especially from a normally reliable BBC. Firstly the Health devolution proposals shouldn't have been that much of a surprise. Last year's " DevoManc " contained with in it that the Combined Authority and the Clinical Commissioning Groups ( CCGs ) would work on a business plan for integrating health and social care.

Admittedly we have perhaps made faster progress than might have been anticipated but nothing wrong with that.

The media have made much of £6b of NHS funding being devolved to Greater Manchester ( GM ). This is true but ignores that 75% of this money is already devolved to GM with local authorities ( LAs ) commissioning public health and CCGs commissioning most community and acute health care. The big change is that in future virtually all specialist services and all GP services will also be commissioned in GM through a partnership between CCGs and LAs. This by the way does not fall within the remit of the elected Mayor, as social care and public health responsibilities lie with each individual local authority and the devolution agreement was quite explicit that it did not centralise any of the existing council powers. Similarly, each of the CCGs retain all their existing powers and budgets. The new partnership will not be free to do whatever it wants. Last week's agreement with NHS ( England ) was made within the context of their existing mandate. In key areas, they will still determine the what, the local partners will determine the how. The NHS in Greater Manchester will remain the NHS and in particular NHS employees will remain NHS employees, Council employees will remain Council employees.

It seems to me intuitively right that decisions about GM should be made in GM. But there has to be more than that. These proposals have to deliver a better deal for GM people. The process of integration is already under way and these proposals will allow us to go further, faster. They will not resolve the underfunding of health and social care - there is still an argument to be had there - but they will allow us to make better use of the money we have got. The differences this could make? Reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital. Quicker discharge with better care packages. Relieving the pressure on A & E. Supporting tens of thousands of people not working because of physical or mental health problems back into work. Big opportunities that could transform lives, transform our city-region. It's an opportunity too big to miss.

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There are 4 responses to “GM decides for GM”

  1. franky Says:

    You are right there was a lot of misinformation on the NHS budget. Another of the boasts of of Osborne!

  2. i love jack russels Says:

    And should there be any doubt about that underfunding and how it has been unfairly applied, this Institute for Fiscal Studies short report on local authority funding sets it out quite helpfully. Manchester was one of the 8 most hardest hit councils thanks to the coalition governemnt (not may tory votes to lose in Manchester so an easy target) and with the loss of government grant funding on top have lost nearly 40%. And yet there is a 50% rise in the numbers of children needing social care (numbers of which will in turn be exacerated by some of the coalition policies) and similar for adults needing social care. Doesn't add up does it ? I think the devolution deal will be interesting, but as you say we mustn't lose sight of lobbying to resolve the underfunding.

  3. Barrie Eckford Says:

    Sir Richard, now that the DevoManc documentation is now available, it is now after reading it several times, I am now of the opinion that this agreement you & the other nine leaders of the towns that make u Gtr. M/cr. will a disaster for the population of this Greater City. The taking out of the economy of £4.2 billon per year will not be more than compensated by new business being attracted to this region.
    Those thought of a Super Mayor being imposed on us all is an affront to democracy. The People of this City have already spoken on this matter & refuted the concept, yet you have agreed to have a Mayor imposed upon us all. The present government will not need any representation within the City, as you have agreed to impose their austerity policy for them. Incidentally, on the mayor issue, have you observed how the Mayor of London "deals" with his "cabinet" critics at question time; it is a disgrace & disrespectful to his detractors. I urge you to think again about having control of the regions budget. It is not the answer

  4. SameOld Says:

    The local integration of health and social care services is essential and long overdue. And as emphasised it is at borough level, not city-region.

    For example, clearly there is a need for a new clinic for all the noses out of joint.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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