The Leader of Oldham Council has hailed the ground-breaking announcement of plans to bring together health and social care budgets worth £6 billion as “a major step forward” for Greater Manchester.
The deal sees NHS England, 12 NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, 15 NHS providers and the 10 local authorities, including Oldham Council, agree a framework for health and social care – with plans for joint decision-making on integrated care to support physical, mental and social wellbeing.
The Memorandum of Understanding, approved and countersigned by the Chancellor and the Health Secretary, now puts local people firmly in control of deciding on health and care services that suit the region.
Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “The first National Health Service hospital was opened right here in Greater Manchester in Trafford in 1948 – it is right that the NHS is coming home.”
“This is a major step forward in our push to bring decisions about Greater Manchester and our communities to Greater Manchester.
“Health and Social Care has some of our best and highly-regarded frontline workers and they, like us, recognise there are gaps in the current system which can only be resolved through true integration.
“By devolving power away from the distant Whitehall civil servants to locally accountable councillors and health and social care professionals we believe we can create a better and more efficient way to deliver services that are arranged around people, not institutional silos.
“It is also vital that the public are kept at the forefront of this fast-moving debate. We must not rush into creating new layers of bureaucracy or rushing into yet another expensive reorganisation – that would be a big mistake.”
More information about the announcement can be viewed on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority website.
You can also watch Cllr McMahon talk about what GM’s NHS devo deal means for the region on the BBC’s Sunday Politics show here (at 46 minutes in).