Our Healthier Manchester
The work on developing an integrated model of Health and Social Care started several years before the devolution memorandum of understanding was signed with NHS(England) in early 2015
The first iteration of our locality plan was based on three pillars, a single commissioning body, a single hospital service, and a single local care service. These are now all substantially in place though none are fully formed and though it is a slow and difficult process we are now beginning to see the first benefits.
Hospital mergers don't have a great history of success and so there was always going to be some risk attached to the coming together of Central Manchester with University Hospital South Manchester. However, so far it has been really well-managed and there are already clinical benefits from sharing the expertise that exists across the hospitals. Work is continuing to bring North Manchester General Hospital into the new arrangements and I'm hoping that exciting and innovative proposals for NMGH can be shared in the near future.
However, at the heart of what we are trying to do is to reduce the need for acute services, starting with an emphasis on more preventative approaches where there is an expectation that we are all responsible for our own health. Where support is needed, more should be provided in our own homes or in the neighbourhoods we live in, through far better co-ordinated primary and community health and care services.
For this purpose the city has been divided into 12 areas all with a population of between 30,000 and 50,000 people, large enough to sustain a full range of local services. The bringing together of services is led and delivered by an integrated neighbourhood team and these are now operational in most of the city, and shortly will cover the whole city. The approach is about services not buildings but the teams to do need to have somewhere to operate from. This is mainly from existing buildings but where there is nowhere suitable there is an opportunity, as we are proposing to do in Gorton, to build state of the art health and community hubs that can help us transform our city's health.