Our Manifesto: Health & Wellbeing

Before drafting my manifesto for Mayor I want to do things differently. I want to involve as many people as possible in developing policy ideas that will make a real and meaningful difference to people’s lives.

At the Health and Wellbeing Manifesto conference, we heard from users, carers, experts and interested parties alike about the things that really matter and could improve the lives and the quality of healthcare for residents across Greater Manchester.

The ideas suggested:

1: Care workforce needs to be further valued and recognised

2: Integrated health and social care pathway

3: Prioritise investment in community care

4: Upskilling, training and valuing of current staff and to help aid recruitment.

5: Introduce a Greater Manchester Ethical charter

6: Argue for an increase in the budget for health and social care from Government

7: Make Greater Manchester Autism friendly

8: Make the internet safer and promote a campaign on children’s mental health

9: Prioritise investment in preventative mental health services

10: Focus on public health education in schools

11: Integrated approach to mental health in the workplace

12: Make the case for an increase the number of health visitors

The ideas highlighted received the most votes at the conference and will be explored further as the next step in this process.

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  1. brizcox says:

    Dear Andy,

    Many thanks for throwing out these suggestions and opening up the debate. This is just what is needed I think.

    All of the above is needed but one overriding theme I would suggest is that as well as building things up, we need to push things down. In other words the focus needs to be on a relentless push to get health care nearer to people and dispensed in a way that is less hierarchical, controlled less by professionals and powerful interests, and organised around the small and local.

    The obvious example of this is the way health is organised in Cuba and there is a good blog on this from the commonwealth fund on the SHA pages. What would it look like if we edged towards a Cuban philosophy and organisation? For me it would provide the answer to many of the criticisms of our healthcare system by patients and citizens as well as providing the means for tackling our vast health inequalities.

    When building up healthcare we have a tendency to think about high end, high cost and complex solutions. Whilst these are necessary for some health problems the vast majority of health care issues about about the routine, the small and the incremental. A concerted focus in providing a health and social model to answer these issues is necessary if we are not to be overwhelmed by the glitz of the acute and intensive.

    And while I am at it we have some brilliant dementia friendly work going on in villages here is suffolk that are worth a look.

    Good luck to you.

    Brina Cox

    1. brizcox says:

      I missed typed – its Brian not Brina!

  2. rotzeichen says:

    As a child born in the private sector and grew up the NHS I watched as year on year we built a service that catered for peoples needs from the cradle to the grave. We had all the joined up care services, we had then the most efficient, most comprehensive health service in the world, then along came the 1970s and Milton Freidman onics, not even economics, but flawed philosophy that is only now going through it’s death throws.

    Thatcher dismantled these care services calling it care in the community, shutting down mental institutions and housing them in cheap rented accommodation, where eventually lots ended up on the streets unable to cope and underfunded support services unable to do the job it was intended for.

    All the services we are crying out for today existed in the previous periods up the 1980s when everything was supposed to be cheaper and better supplied in the private sector, well it has taken stupid people a very long time to see what people like me joined the Labour party for in the early 1970s, it was to defend those essential public services that Neo-Liberal governments have been so keen to hand over to the private sector.

    So lets stop believing that there are inherent problems in the NHS, the problems with the NHS are the Neo-Liberal political philosophies that see profits as more important that people’s interests.

    The only solution, and it’s a pity Andy Burnham still can’t see it, is to get behind the reinstatement bill. It is the only game in town, the other lie Neo-Liberals tell us, is that we can’t afford the NHS, well we did before they came along, so why can’t we now? Answer because they are in government.

    We can afford all our public services, people are kept poor to keep the banking system going, people who have money in their pockets do not need to borrow, the banks make their profits from borrowing. That is the economic cycle that has spiralled our economy downwards, people are the real economy not the wealthy or the bankers, they print money out of thin air.

    The public sector is vital for a stable economy, not the private sector that which is peripheral to it, otherwise why aren’t we the leading economy in the world? Not just a net importer!

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