Greater Manchester has become the first region to take full control of its combined health and social care budgets of £6 billion.
The move means that local government leaders, commissioners and clinicians will be able to tailor their budgets and priorities designed to improve the health and well-being of the region’s 2.8 million residents.
The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership took charge of the budget from today under the leadership of Lord Peter Smith.
The 37-strong membership includes the 12 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), 15 providers, including acute NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts, mental health and community providers and the North West Ambulance Service and the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities.
A top priority is tackling some of the worst health outcomes and health inequalities in the country.
More than two thirds of the region’s early deaths are caused by behaviours that could be changed. Nearly a quarter of the region’s population has a mental health or wellbeing issue that could have an impact on other aspects of their life including employment and housing and parenting, according to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The partnership has an ambitious five-year plan, which includes transforming the health and social care system that helps more people stay independent, well and will give better care to the sick.
It also wants to align health and social care “far more closely” with work done in education, skills, works and housing in the region to ensure £22 million is spent efficiently on those services.
It also declared it would stick to the £6 billion budget.
Targets include 1,300 fewer deaths from cancer and 600 fewer fatalities from cardiovascular disease and preventing 2,750 serious falls by 2021.
The new powers were announced by chancellor George Osborne in February last year as an extension of devolved powers in the region.
A shadow health and well-being board was set up to oversee the launch of the new partnership.
It means that local politicians will decide how a quarter of government money is spent in the region.
The plan can be seen here.