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RCN responds to announcement of devolved health and social care in Manchester

Responding to the announcement that the health and social care budget for Greater Manchester will be taken over by the region's councils and health groups from April 2016, Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN said: “This is a ground-breaking announcement with significant implications for patients… If done properly, there are clear advantages of health and social care services working more closely together. So many aspects of health are linked to social care issues, such as housing and education, and a smooth transition between health and social care services is better for patients.

“However, nursing staff regularly work at the boundary between health and social care, and know there are challenges when providing free health care and means-tested social care, which particularly affect vulnerable and older patients. There is also a danger of a merger leading to health budgets being spent on council services, which do not improve public health. This must not be allowed to happen.”