What has been launched?

A new public health plan for Greater Manchester set to help every individual and community to lead happier and healthier lives.

Our ambitious plan targets all stages of life, puts strong focus on prevention and how better health and wellbeing helps with work prospects and economy.

The plan will complement the individual work in the ten areas of Greater Manchester – and highlights where issues can be tackled more effectively by working together from a Greater Manchester stance.

It’s also the product of thousands of conversations last year with the people who live and work in this area about how they could take charge of their own health.

What issues have been identified?

  • Almost a fifth of adults smoke in Greater Manchester;
  • More than a third of our children have dental decay;
  • A fifth of adults binge drink;
  • Just under a quarter of adults do very little or no exercise;
  • And around two thirds of adults are overweight or obese;
  • Last year (2016) one in three children in Greater Manchester did not achieve a good level of development by the end of reception;
  • One of out of 25 people in Greater Manchester live in the ten per cent most disadvantaged areas in the country.

Quote from our chair, Lord Peter Smith:

“This plan belongs to every single one of us in Greater Manchester – from the input of the people and the neighbourhoods it covers to the health, voluntary and community sector. This cannot be done in isolation and our stance is very much that engaged and involved communities are the key to helping transform health results for the 2.8 million people who live here.”

Key points in the three-stage approach include:

1) Start Well:

Smoking in pregnancy  – what we know: this is single biggest and preventable risk factor for both the baby and mother’s health.

  • The Greater Manchester approach – identifying mums-to-be who are smoking will be a key part of the booking in, initial ante-natal visit so that they can be offered help to give up smoking.
  • Training will be given to key workforce groups to ensure pregnant women and their families are given the most appropriate advice and support.

Child dental health – what we know:  the biggest reason for children having general anaesthetic surgery in Greater Manchester is to take out decayed teeth. It’s also a key reason for children attending A&E due to dental pain.

  • The Greater Manchester approach –  we want every child in Greater Manchester to have had a dental appointment by the age of one.
  • The oral health improvement programme will boost more children having access to fluoride through teeth brushing schemes in nurseries and pre-schools

2) Live Well:

Work and health – what we know: there is a strong link between not having or not being able to work and poor health. Being out of work can lead to poor physical and mental health, across all age groups, with major impacts for the individual concerned, their partner and family.

  • The Greater Manchester approach: a programme to ensure that there is an effective prevention and early intervention system in place to support as many adults with health conditions as possible to return to, and remain in, good quality work. Key to this vision will be health, employment and other services working together to give help and support before people fall into long-term unemployment.

Cancer – what we know:  by 2020 it is estimated that more than one in two people will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives. Every 30 minutes someone in Greater Manchester is told they have cancer.

  • The Greater Manchester approach: A key commitment for Greater Manchester is to reduce early deaths from cancer by 1,300 fewer deaths by 2021. Plus we will recruit 20,000 ‘cancer champions’  to promote and support their local communities.

3) Ageing Well

What we know: the risk of malnutrition and dehydration increases in people aged over 65. Malnutrition often develops gradually and can go unnoticed. It is estimated to be part of around 30% of hospital admissions; affect 10-14% of people living in sheltered housing; and be a factor for as many as 35% of people admitted to care homes.

  • The Greater Manchester approach – recognising the need to raise individual, family, carer and practitioner awareness of the issues in older people, so that it can be spotted earlier and more easily in day-to-day situations and more people can benefit from information, advice and support to address the problem.

Read top tips from Mancunian, Dena Murphy on ageing well

Read a blog from our chief officer, Jon Rouse here