Improving our health and social care services, and how we look after ourselves and one another, is at the heart of our devolution plans.

Our ambitious Population Health Plan outlines how we’re going to empower people in Greater Manchester to lead healthier, wealthier and happier lives – from birth to old age.

To do this, we’re building health and care services around communities. But we’re also looking at how health and wellbeing relate to our work prospects and quality of life.

This plan is the result of thousands of conversations with the people who live and work here. It boosts all the great local work being done in our ten boroughs (Manchester, Stockport, Tameside and Glossop, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Trafford, Salford, Bolton, and Wigan), highlighting problems that can be better solved by working together.


We're helping people to better manage their own health and wellbeing, preventing serious problems from arising later on.


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Primary care

Primary care plays a central role in our new joined-up health and social care system. Our plans are transforming general practice across our ten boroughs, as well as improving eye and dental care and our pharmacy services – making sure everyone has access to the care they need.

To ensure this happens, we’re committed to making the best use of modern technology, investing in our buildings and bringing staff together into combined health and care teams.

Our plans include:

  • Investing £42m to put GPs back at the heart of the NHS across Greater Manchester
  • Providing more access to GPs and a range of other health and social care services – from blood tests and x-rays to support for nursing and residential homes
  • Basing these improved services around neighbourhoods, where groups of GP practices each serve 30,000 to 50,000 people
  • Expanding our primary care workforce to give doctors more time to provide care for patients who need it
  • Better connecting doctors to our support services – such as community nursing, long-term condition clinics, housing and voluntary groups
  • Providing urgent 24/7 primary care, which will be easier for people to access

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Primary Care Strategy 2016-2021 Download Arrow Primary Care Summary Download Arrow Dental Health 2017-2021 Download Arrow Eye Health 2017-2021 Download Arrow Pharmacy Strategy 2017-2021 Download Arrow

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Tobacco is at the root of many of our health problems in Greater Manchester. To address these problems, we need to cut smoking rates further and faster than anywhere else in the world.

The Tobacco-free Greater Manchester Strategy sets out our ambition to get a third of people here to stop smoking by 2021. This will result in 115,000 fewer smokers, supporting a tobacco-free generation and ultimately helping to make smoking history.

Great progress has been made over the last ten years, but:

  • 13 people a day in Greater Manchester (that’s 4,500 each year) die of cancers and other terminal illnesses related to smoking
  • 60,000 more people smoke here than anywhere else (according to the national average rate)
  • Every hour another child starts smoking in Greater Manchester – that’s a whole classroom every day

We’re aiming to cut smoking to one person in eight (ideally fewer) over the next four years by:

  • Offering new ways to quit, including digital services such as apps providing tailored support
  • Targeting specific groups of people such as pregnant women – we have an incentive scheme encouraging the most vulnerable pregnant women to stay smoke-free
  • Ending smoking outside hospital doors and reducing it in our own workplaces
  • Aiming to create more smoke-free areas in public spaces such as parks and meeting points
  • Promoting our Ditch or Switch message, which supports swapping cigarettes for vaping

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Tobacco Plan Summary Download Arrow Tobacco Plan 2017-2021 Download Arrow

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Mental health

We’ve made a promise to radically improve the mental health and wellbeing of people in Greater Manchester – by putting it on an equal footing with our physical health.

Our £134m action plan will transform mental health services and target the root causes of mental illness at an earlier stage. This investment is the biggest and most ambitious of its kind in the country.

We’re working to:

  • Better connect public services, communities and individuals to improve people’s mental wellbeing and life chances
  • Improve access to a good range of mental health services across Greater Manchester
  • Make services more joined up and efficient, improving how people experience them
  • Use the Partnership to agree quality-of-care standards and clear, measurable results
  • Improve public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health needs and reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems say they experience, whether in their personal relationships, their social lives, at work or in their treatment within the services

We’ve also promised to spend more (60% of our mental health budget) on supporting the emotional and mental health needs of children, young people and new mums.

With a wide-ranging plan over four years, we aim to:

  • Make sure thousands more children can get mental health support where and when they need it, avoiding the prospect of any child who needs help being turned away
  • Support all schools in giving their students the support and confidence-boost they need
  • Help new and prospective mums who experience serious mental health problems (babies and children whose mums have poor mental health can be affected for life)
  • Provide hospital care here in Greater Manchester, so no-one has to be treated elsewhere in the country
  • Make sure anyone in a mental health crisis can get support right away, and that no one ends up cared for in a police cell
  • Help people with serious mental illnesses to take better care of their physical health – at the moment, these people die 15 to 20 years earlier than average for their age and area
  • Offer extra support to people who’re unemployed in the long-term or who’re at risk of losing their jobs because of a mental health problem
  • Reduce adult suicides by ten per cent
  • Improve dementia care and shorten the time people have to wait for help

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Mental Health Plan 2016 Download Arrow Mental Health Update 2017 Download Arrow

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We’re working together to make Greater Manchester the best-possible place for those living with dementia. By 2021, many more people will have a full care plan that’s reviewed at least once a year, and a named care coordinator.

Before April 2016, our dementia diagnosis rates were already higher than the national average. Now, with added investment and more rapid changes to the way we do things, seven more people a day are being diagnosed than in most other places.

We’ve put £2.29m into our long-term programme Dementia United, so we can provide even better care and support on people’s doorsteps.

This includes:

  • Agreeing standards and ways of working, to make sure help people get the same top-quality care wherever they are in Greater Manchester
  • Introducing more dementia-friendly services and developing resources such as awareness toolkits
  • Bringing together professionals and volunteers to share best-practice
  • Joining forces with existing local projects, as well as funding new ones
  • Making the most of our world-class dementia research to try out new treatments

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Dementia Strategy Download Arrow

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We want to give people in Greater Manchester the best chance of avoiding or surviving cancer. Our cancer plan involves new ways of: raising awareness, developing effective treatment and running cancer services that will still work in the future.

But there’s a lot of work to do to provide people here with cancer services that match the best in the world.

If we’re going to prevent more cases of cancer, we’ll have to overcome some big challenges. More adults smoke in Greater Manchester than in other parts of England. What’s more, fewer people here attend screening for breast, cervical and bowel cancers than in other areas. So we’re missing opportunities to spot problems early on.

Lots of organisations and groups of people across Greater Manchester have been involved in developing our cancer plan. These include hospitals, local councils, GPs, voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises, as well as people affected by the disease.

Our plan sets out six key aims along with details of how we’re going to achieve them – from helping to prevent cancer and providing earlier and better diagnosis to improving care and making it consistent across all boroughs.

We’ve promised to:

  • Reduce the number of adults smoking by more than one in ten by 2020
  • Improve one-year survival rates by more than three quarters by 2020
  • Prevent 1,300 avoidable cancer deaths before 2021
  • Offer the best-possible patient experience, achieving an average overall rating of nine out of ten in the national survey
  • Exceed the national standard for starting treatment within 62 days of urgent cancer referral
  • By 2019, make recovery care available to all patients when they finish their treatment

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Cancer Plan 2017-2021 Download Arrow Cancer Plan Summary Download Arrow GM Cancer review 2017 Download Arrow