Greater Manchester sets out stall for radical overhaul of public services

“Names not numbers” is the commitment Greater Manchester’s leaders have given this week (1 April) by publishing two documents which together set out the most radical overhaul of the way public services have ever been delivered – with people’s health and the NHS at its heart.

The new Greater Manchester Model of Public Services recognises that every area of public service has health benefits as one of its objectives; good health is created by good housing, good education, good work, social, digital and transport connections, clean air, safe neighbourhoods and opportunities to be physically active.

At the same time the Greater Manchester Health and Care Prospectus paints a compelling picture of the creation of a population health system, where inclusive economic growth is a main tenet and healthy and independent people play their full role in the region’s economic prosperity. This is also reflected in our emerging Local Industrial Strategy, the city-region’s plan for good jobs and growth, which will be published later in the year.

The documents represent further significant steps forward in the city region’s unique devolution journey, which continues to build a movement to give local public services, communities and individuals increasing control over the decisions which affect them at local level.

And three years on since Greater Manchester Health and Care Partnership took charge of the £6bn spent on health and care we are starting to turn the tide on the causes of poor health for the 2.8m people here, as well as having an impact across wider policy areas.

Since 2016 Greater Manchester has:

  • Increased the number of children who are “school ready” – around 200 more children were deemed to be at a “good level of development” in school year 1 in 2018/19, compared to the previous year. This is 68% of Greater Manchester children and a 2% improvement. The England average is 71.5%.
  • Reduced smoking rates significantly faster than the national average. This has been achieved through measures including treating hospital patients, cutting the proportion of mothers smoking at the time of giving birth twice as fast as the national average and achieving a 64% quit rate by providing vape kits to social housing tenants.
  • Helped more than 3,200 long term unemployed people back to work by providing support to those with health conditions or disability to find and sustain work.
  • 85% of families who have been part of Greater Manchester’s local Troubled Families programme do not go on to require any form of statutory intervention from children’s social care during the 12 months after the engagement with the family has ended
  • Improved access to primary care with more GP appointments in early evening and weekends and wider pharmacy services.
  • Improved cancer survival rates to almost the national average and recruited 5,000 community ‘cancer champions’. By 2017, 150 more patients were estimated to be living with cancer for a year or longer, compared with 2016. People have also been diagnosed and treated earlier. The proportion who needed emergency care for more advanced cancer dropped from 24% to less than 20% and in 2017/18, 85% started treatment within 62 days of being referred to a cancer specialist, which was higher than in England as a whole (82.2%).
  • Raised standards in care homes through its “teaching care homes” scheme and seen a 20% increase in care homes rated as ‘good’ and 12% increase in those rated ‘outstanding’.
  • Significantly improved access to mental health services including some of the best access rates in the country for children and young people, new eating disorders services, support for new Mums and better crisis care.

Although significant progress has been made, the gap in health with the rest of England remains in many areas. Leaders say they are committed to the journey to achieve the region’s goal of becoming one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on in life and grow old.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:

“This is by far the most ambitious development of public services happening in England, with health at its heart. We will invest power in our local teams to be creative and think differently, to have the freedom to work in a different way and support people as individuals, not numbers.

“We don’t want to talk about patients, clients, service users and customers – our public sector silos – we want to use people’s names. This Greater Manchester model is a powerful collective statement about our shared ambition.”

Lord Peter Smith, chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“We have a record of delivery – our achievements of the past three years prove it – and our promise is that we will do more.

“The way we work together as public services, in partnership with the voluntary and community sector and our communities, means we can work together to improve health in ways and places where it makes sense in people lives.

“Our approach aims to support people to gain the confidence, self-belief and technique to adopt healthier lifestyles, manage their conditions, change the way they do things and demand good health.”

Jon Rouse, chief officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“We have put in place the building blocks to achieve the biggest and fastest improvement to the health of our citizens.

“We have changed the way health and social care works so that teams work better together now and we have invested in technology, services and ways of working.

“Our approach has attracted attention worldwide and has helped to inform the NHS Long Term Plan.

“We know that health inequalities remain and there is much to do. This prospectus sets out how we will build on what we have achieved already and our unique approach to meeting those challenges.”

Among those who have examined Greater Manchester’s approach is Jason Helgerson, the former Medicaid Director for New York State and Founder/Chief Solutions Officer of Helgerson Solutions Group.

He said: “Greater Manchester is a global epicentre for health and social care innovation. Integrated care isn’t easy but it’s the best way forward and it’s really happening in communities all across the region. The world has much to learn from Greater Manchester and the local innovators who are transforming care for their entire population.”