What’s been happening

Over the next few weeks we’ll reach some crucial milestones in our progress towards getting formal control of the money and decision making around health and social care in GM.

This week we started work in earnest on our big plan – our strategy for reform – which will eventually be the blueprint for the coming years. We’re creating this by looking at what the ten areas of GM have put in their local plans. We’ll then work together to decide what should be done locally, on a wider footing and what should be done once across GM. In turn this will allow us to agree where and how we pool the money so we can spend it most wisely – and so we can tackle the £1.2 billion funding challenge we have across GM.

And on the back of this early plan we’ll be going to the government in the autumn setting out what we want as part of the spending review; the process by which the government decides how much money is spent across the public sector departments.

These are not high profile public milestones like some of the work we highlight in the rest of this bulletin, but they represent a journey in GM which we could never have imagined this time last year.

In just five months we’ve launched a commitment to extending seven day access to primary care; unanimously made the difficult, and we know controversial, decision to alter the way some hospital services work to improve quality and safety and brought together public health leadership in a national first.

And we’re already doing things hugely differently ‘behind the scenes’ working with each other – and with our national colleagues in the NHS and government, in very different ways. There is still much to do but we should be impressed by what has been achieved to date and the commitment to making this work.

Ian Williamson
Chief Officer

Landmark public health agreement for GM signed

Landmark Public HealthOn Friday 10 July, national and regional leaders from across the health and social care system gathered for the signing of a ground-breaking public health agreement for Greater Manchester.

This first of a kind agreement places more emphasis on prevention and early intervention to stop GM people becoming ill – so that they can remain independent and have the best family, work and lifestyle opportunities.

The agreement, which is a memorandum of understanding, was signed by NHS leaders from CCGs, trusts and the emergency services, local authorities in GM; Simon Stevens CE of NHS England and Duncan Selbie, CE of Public Health England.

A key early priority for devolution, the agreement places public health at the heart of GM’s wider economic and skills potential by helping people into work, encouraging independence and reducing demand on health and social care services.

At the same time GM’s first Prevention and Early Intervention Board sat. Made up of representatives from local authorities, Public Health England, NHS England, NHS providers, CCGs and other public and voluntary sector partners, the board will meet on a bi-monthly basis.

The first meeting looked at how we can connect health, wellbeing and prosperity and looked at a number of key areas including the costs of prevention and a social movement for health. The meeting also provided early intervention project updates in areas such as mental health and work. The launch received excellent regional coverage and has also hit the national and specialist media.

Healthier Together decision

On Wednesday 15 July the Healthier Together Committees in Common (CiC) which is made up of GPs from every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Greater Manchester, unanimously decided that Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport will be the fourth hospital to specialise in emergency general surgery (surgery on the abdomen and bowels) as part of a single service alongside Manchester Royal Infirmary, Royal Oldham Hospital and Salford Royal Hospital.

Under the Healthier Together proposals, ‘single services’ will be formed (networks of linked hospitals working in partnership). Care will be provided by a team of medical staff who will work together across a number of hospital sites within the single service. All hospitals will improve to ensure they meet the quality and safety standards.

The new standards will mean an additional 35 consultants recruited across A&E and general surgery, a minimum of 12 hours of consultant cover in A&E seven days a week, and a consultant surgeon and anaesthetist present for all high risk general surgical operations. All hospitals will keep their existing specialisms and will continue to provide care to their local populations as they do now. For more information visit the Healthier Together website.

Minister for Community and Social Care visits Greater Manchester

New Minister for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt, visited Greater Manchester on Friday 17 July after requesting to see some of to see the exciting work being carried out as part of devolution.

He saw how seven day access to primary care across Greater Manchester is being improved by visiting Moss Side Medical Centre which has implemented a new triage system for same-day access. By placing a doctor within the waiting room patients are triaged face-to-face as they arrive so that they can be given an appointment that day or signposted to the appropriate service.

Mr Burt also visited Pennine Acute NHS Trust where staff took the opportunity to show him the work they are doing with North Manchester CCG and partners across health and social integration and as part of GM Devo. He was on site for an hour and a half and the team managed to give him a great tour: showing him the Emergency Department, paediatric A&E department, intermediate care tier service ward on J5, and finally their multi-disciplinary team on the Integrated Discharge Unit on ward D3.

They report he was especially impressed with the ‘positive vibe and enthusiasm from all staff’ he spoke with and the degree of innovation and forward thinking around healthcare integration and cross agency partnership working across primary and acute care.

Finally the minister met with some of the devolution team to talk about the programme and how it’s progressing. His office has since fed back to say they saw some excellent facilities, engaged in some thought-provoking conversations and found the visit very insightful. He is very interested in the work and keen to stay involved.

We are always looking to add to our case study library so we can showcase the great examples of innovative and integrated care across GM to ministers, the media and others. Our comms and engagement working group members are linked in to all of the GM comms leads so please do send us some ideas at the gm.devo@nhs.net address or via your comms leads.

Achievements to date

In addition to seven day access to primary care (which we updated on in an earlier issue of the bulletin), and the two big pieces of news we talk about above, work is also well underway in some of the other areas we’re focussing on this year. This includes:

  • Academic Health Science System – work continues to establish an over-arching board to facilitate alignment of the work of MAHSC, GMAHSN and LCRN to respond to health and well-being needs of the conurbation and capitalising on Research and Innovation assets across Greater Manchester.
  • Dementia – work moves onto the next steps for this project as we look at how engagement across Greater Manchester can determine the potential of this programme.
  • Mental Health and Work – By November 2015 an announcement will be made on improvements to mental health following the ‘Working Well Pilot’ and how it supports unemployed residents who have a mental health-related barrier affecting their return to work.
  • Workforce Pilot (December) – Flexible working across organisations and costs incurred with agency/locum staff are being reviewed by GM HR Directors.
  • CAMHS – Work to agree and develop an approach to transform Children and Young People’s Mental Wellbeing services continues to be developed across GM.

Communicating and engaging across Greater Manchester

It’s been a busy few weeks since we updated you in the last bulletin. At the start of the month Ian Williamson, our Interim Chief Officer and Steph Butterworth, executive director at Tameside Council presented and took part in a lively panel discussion attended by over 100 delegates at the HealthWatch Conference in Manchester. Team GM Devo was also on hand at the conference exhibition to engage with and talk to Healthwatch members from across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Many thanks to all who helped by sharing the link to our stakeholder survey which saw an exceptional response rate with over 2,500 staff, stakeholders and members of the public taking time to share their views. In addition to the online survey, we have been on the streets talking to GM people as well as talking in more depth to a selection of key stakeholders.

Early findings indicated that awareness of health and social care devolution is high among those completing the online surveys but low among members of the public surveyed on the street. This suggests that so far our stakeholders are well-informed and engaged though we have more work to do to raise awareness with members of the public.

Building on early results from our stakeholder survey, over the coming weeks, communications and engagement colleagues from across GM, alongside colleagues from HealthWatch and the voluntary sector are designing a detailed engagement programme and will update on progress very soon.

We’re also up and running on Twitter now and have the grand total of 85 followers and are already getting a bit of engagement through this – we want more! There’s a potential Twitter reach of 750,000 people in GM through just the public sector feeds so please tag us in your tweets and we’ll do likewise.

A new and revised GM Devo slide pack has been produced for use with colleagues, stakeholders and partners. Download the new presentation from the resources section of our website. This is designed to be used as you see fit – so please take out bits you don’t need depending on your audience. As we move in to our wider engagement phase we’ll be working with engagement colleagues and others to shape our public messages.

Greater Manchester Strategic Plan and Locality Plans Development

One of the biggest and most ambitious pieces of work being done as part of devolution is the creation of one strategic plan for the whole of Greater Manchester. This will ensure we can make a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

Each of the ten areas of GM are also working on a local plan setting out their own objectives. We are currently looking at the early drafts which are demonstrating where we have some excellent programmes and services, but also where we can work together to make improvements.

Over the next six months we want to engage with the people of Greater Manchester to get their thoughts and ideas on both the local plans and the GM plan.

The ultimate aim is that we have a plan which not only sees us improving the health and wellbeing of the people of GM but also ensures that we can close the projected £1.1 billion gap at the same time.

Health and Care Innovation Expo 2015

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Devolution will have a major presence at Expo 2015, with a large exhibition zone at the entrance to Manchester Central Convention Centre on 2 and 3 September.

We will display the very best in improved and developing care and prevention models, demonstrating the potential of devolution to an audience of senior NHS, social care and patient leaders. We already have lots of ideas we can showcase, but if you have a great example or engagement exercise you want to carry out at Expo, please contact Camilla.sutcliffe1@nhs.net as soon as possible.

It would be great if we can get as many people as possible from the NHS and public sector devo ‘family’ there over the two days. Complimentary tickets are available to CCG and NHS provider staff. If you haven’t received your promotional code, please e-mail Camilla.sutcliffe1@nhs.net.

Events and meetings

GM Strategic Plan leadership group
The first meeting of the GM Strategic Plan leadership group will take place on Friday 24 July and will be chaired by Dr Ranjit Gill, Chief Clinical Officer, NHS Stockport CCG and Donna Hall, Chief Executive, Wigan Council will be the deputy chair.

The group’s remit is to support and challenge the delivery, ambition and content of the GM Strategic Plan and we are aiming to secure a broad membership including key stakeholders from across the GM public sector.

Mental Health Event

On Tuesday 4 August a meeting will take place to scope out immediate work to deliver on our early priority for mental health. Attendees will include key GM Devo leaders from across local authorities, NHS commissioners and providers and other statutory partners as well as key voluntary, public and patient representatives.


We have recently launched our Twitter account @GMHSC_Devo so follow us to read all our latest updates.

We welcome your feedback and questions. Get in touch at gm.devo@nhs.net.