The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham announced on Wednesday 18 March that he has asked Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the City of Manchester Council, to take on the health and social care portfolio, and to chair the Health and Social Care Partnership, from Lord Peter Smith.

Lord Peter has chaired the Partnership since its inception. He has provided steady leadership and championed integrated working.

Sarah Price, Partnership interim chief officer, said: “Peter has been a strong advocate for health and care both within GM and outside and provided exceptional leadership on our devolution journey. He has been a source of wise advice and guidance to the Partnership board, to the Partnership team and colleagues across Greater Manchester.

“I look forward to working with Sir Richard Leese as he takes up his new role.”

Andy Burnham added: “On behalf of everyone in Greater Manchester, I want to thank Lord Peter Smith for the enormous contribution he has made to public life our city-region.

“Peter has given exemplary service to our people and our communities through his time as a Leigh councillor, Leader of Wigan Council, Chair of AGMA and, more recently, Chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. I know people across the Greater Manchester NHS have appreciated his leadership and experience through the challenges of recent times.

Peter is one of a small number of people who have built Greater Manchester into what it is today. With others, he has helped us become a strong, self-confident city region at the forefront of English devolution and his legacy will be felt for generations to come.”

Lord Peter Smith said: “It has been a privilege to work with colleagues since 2016 across health and local government to secure devolution of health for Greater Manchester and to deliver better outcomes for local residents.

“I should like to thank the efforts of staff, particularly frontline staff, for their dedication to serving the public, which we now recognise through the GM Awards. Obviously the Coronavirus will place huge and unprecedented pressures on health and social care and I trust that the skills and hard work of staff and the cooperation of the public will get us through.

“There is rightly an enormous national pride in the NHS and its achievements over 70 years tackling ill health and every family will have benefited. However, we need to refresh and redefine its work to meet today’s and tomorrow’s problems. We have been working together in Greater Manchester to create a service that promotes health and wellbeing for all and I hope and expect this will continue.”

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