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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Pharmacy Strategy 2017-2021 [PDF] Eye Health 2017-2021 [PDF] Dental Health 2017-2021 [PDF] Primary Care Summary [PDF]

No smoking icon


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 [PDF] Tobacco Plan 2017-2021 [PDF]

Mental health icon (picture of a head with a heart in the centre)

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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Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention 2017-2022 [PDF]

Dementia icon (stylised blue petals)


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 [PDF]

Cancer icon (pink ribbon)


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 Summary [PDF] Cancer Plan 2017-2021 [PDF] Greater Manchester Cancer review 2017 [PDF] Greater Manchester Cancer annual report 2018/19 [PDF]

Maternity icon (couple holding a baby)


Every child deserves the best start from the very first moments of life and every parent, or parent-to-be, should feel confident they are receiving the highest standard of support and care. Here in Greater Manchester we’re working hard to make all our maternity services as safe, kind and personal as possible for everyone using them.

Our maternity and newborn plan is based on the national Better Births maternity review (link or no link). We spoke to lots of women and their families who use, or have used, maternity services as well as the staff that deliver them. We want to improve quality and continuity of care during and after pregnancy. Our plan includes hospitals, community services and specialist services to ensure every child ‘starts well’.

We’re aiming to:

•            Promote safe and effective maternity and newborn care

•            Give women more choice and services personalised to them

•            Increase continuity of carer with women seen by the same healthcare professionals during their pregnancy

•            Ensure babies and families that need neonatal care have access to the best possible neonatal care

•            Provide parents with the postnatal care they need for their new family

•            Better recognition and treatment of mental health during and after pregnancy

•            Creating services that lead to the best outcomes

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Maternity and Newborn Plan 13.07.18 [PDF]

Diabetes icon (drawing of pin-prick blood test)


It is predicted that over 25% of people living in Greater Manchester will develop diabetes in their lifetime. We’re working with individuals and organisations from across the region to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes or at risk of developing it – enhancing both prevention and control of the disease and reducing complications from living with diabetes.

We’re aiming to prevent the rise in type 2 diabetes by:

•            Improving the health of children and young adults

•            Identifying those most at risk so we can support them to make healthy changes

We want to help people control their diabetes by:

•            Developing local guidelines about how to use medicine to control diabetes

•            Providing information and education to help people manage their condition

•            Creating better links between the community and hospitals so they work in partnership to plan each person’s diabetes care

•            Reversing type 2 diabetes where possible through healthy changes

•            Helping people to access regular tests to monitor their overall health such as kidney function tests and eye screenings

•            Helping young people’s move from children and young people’s diabetes services to adult diabetes services as smoothly as possible

We also want to reduce the profound impact diabetes complications can have on people living with them as well as their families. We’re aiming to reduce heart, mental health and kidney complications through better detection and care management.

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Diabetes Clinical Strategy 2018-2023 [PDF]

Learning disabilities icon (picture of a head, with a visible brain)

Learning disabilities

People living with learning disabilities in Greater Manchester should be able to live their lives the way they want to – and be listened to when they tell us what they need. We’re working closely with people who have learning disabilities to make sure they feel welcome and included in their communities, and so we can provide services and support that work for them.

We’ve developed a Greater Manchester Learning Disability strategy, shaped by people with learning disabilities and their families too. Our plan has 10 priority areas:

•            Working with people with learning disabilities and their families to shape our strategy and plans

•            Supporting people to speak up for themselves and their peers ensuring they get the care and support they need

•            Creating services that give people with complex needs greater choice and control

•            Improving health outcomes for people with learning disabilities

•            Creating a sense of belonging not isolation

•            Improving housing options so people with learning disabilities can live as independently as possible

•            Supporting people with learning disabilities into work

•            Developing health and care staff across Greater Manchester so they are skilled to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities

•            Helping children and young people with learning disabilities and their families

•            Supporting victims of crime who have learning disabilities and helping offenders with learning disabilities make different choices

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Greater Manchester Learning Disability Strategy [PDF] Shared Lives January 2019 update [PDF] Gloriously Ordinary Lives report [PDF]

Children and young people icon (three children holding hands)

Children and young people

We want children in Greater Manchester to have the best possible start in life. Our plan aims to support parents and local services in improving all aspects of children’s health and wellbeing, physically, mentally and emotionally.

To do this, we’re improving services for under-fives and supporting young people to be ‘life ready’ when they leave school for work or further education. We’re also improving access to children and adolescent mental health services and making sure children with long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy get the best possible care.

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Children and young people health and wellbeing framework 2018/20 [PDF]