By happy coincidence we organised a dinner last night for leaders in the NHS in Greater Manchester to discuss Devo Manc and the NHS.

Those present welcomed the announcement that control of the NHS budget is to be handed to Greater Manchester authorities and  look forward to working much more closely with these elected local authorities.  Under the right conditions this could be an opportunity to ensure that our Manchester Health Service – MHS  – brings much greater benefits to patients and communities.

MHS patients must be equal partners in decisions about their own care and of their families.  The MHS should be much more democratically accountable than the NHS has been in the past.  Manchester still has huge inequalities in health. The average age at death of people living in the most deprived parts of the conurbation is ten years less than among those living in the most prosperous areas.  The NHS has never been able to tackle inequality on its own but the MHS will be the biggest employer in the region and with local councils must use its muscle to reduce inequality.  At the same time we want to see an end to wasteful and damaging competition between hospitals.

MHS should bring much closer working between social services, citizens, patients, carers, families, communities, hospitals, family doctors, pharmacists and other clinicians, researchers and the voluntary sector and to establish real parity of esteem between mental and physical health.

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  1. Robert Jones says:

    How would this work elsewhere? WOULD and could it work elsewhere? If not, what are the implications for a national, as opposed to Manchester, health service? Could English counties, cities, other than Manchester, run anything on this scale? I should like to abolish CCGs and the internal market, but prefer that should be done across the board – is it going to be a good idea to have one system for Manchester within the totality of the English NHS? And what happens when there’s a dispute, which there will be, over resources? Can you see a repeat of the Liverpool City Council situation in which the city refused to set a budget because it couldn’t live on the income disbursed to it?

  2. john locke says:

    Why is Andy Burnham against such a good idea… dogma?

  3. Does it not occur to others that this is more fragmentation, not the devolution that it pretends to be?

    Think of Funding and local councils, last year our local county council was forced to make £75 million in cuts after year after year of cuts previously.

    Does anyone really believe this is anything other than further dismantling of our NHS, and why has our NHS been so successful in the past, until these Neo-liberal politicians appeared, telling us things would be more efficient in private hands?

    Isn’t it time people woke up in this country?

  4. Robert Jones says:

    Precisely my fears, and I imagine Burnham’s too.

  5. Pat Brennan says:

    I’d be glad if I was convinced (or could be convinced) that this was all about giving the Patient a better experience, rather than simple a ‘better’ administrative structure to this aspect of health and social care/welfare.

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