29th April 2016 Written by Tim Lund

Image: Greater Manchester Health and Social care Devolution.This month, Greater Manchester took full control of its health and social care spend. It aims to improve health outcomes for local residents by joining health and social care together enabling local people to make local decisions about local problems. It will see 37 key partners joining forces from local councils to Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts.

Tim Lund, Regional Development Director for Skills for Health, shares why he thinks devolution is a positive move for Greater Manchester and the wider benefits of integrated health and social care.

It allows room for innovation

The freeing up of the health and social care spend means there will be room to explore new avenues when it comes to the wellbeing of Greater Manchester communities. The need for particular services can be measured and better understood, new health care models can be created and tested and organisations can develop their learning; sounds like progress to me.

The levels of care have the chance to be consistently high

The budget changes could allow primary care providers, other than hospitals, to develop; dental, optometry and pharmacy services would have the chance to increase standards of care, reduce inequalities and improve outcomes.

Individual providers and workforces can develop together

This could be a real chance to improve Greater Manchester as a working environment; workforces can support each other to find new ways of successfully delivering care and gain a level of understanding as to how they are each contributing to the area’s welfare.

It will empower people to take charge of their own health and wellbeing

By acknowledging that people should have more responsibility when it comes to their own healthcare, Greater Manchester stand the chance of championing a social movement that enables people to make their own informed lifestyle choices, connect with their community and support each other.

New models of care can be established

Taking control of their spending will allow Greater Manchester to play around with their organisational structure; it will give hospitals the opportunities to join forces, move specialist care out into communities and utilise primary care services in care homes. Perhaps more importantly, it will allow Greater Manchester to interlink primary, secondary and tertiary services to deliver effective health care on a larger scale.

What the future holds for Greater Manchester

We think one of the most important upshots of devolution is that it encourages bigger thinking. People will need to put their faith into organisations and trust that decisions will be made in everyone’s best interest.

This is a project of large scale change that doesn’t come without challenges, but I’m positive the devolution of Greater Manchester will change the face of communities and will be a pioneer for other localities to follow.

If you want to find out more about how Skills for Health can help support your organisation in the delivery of integrated services, then please contact us today. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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