Greater Manchester makes £36 million funding commitment to improve health and social care

GREATER Manchester is investing £36 million to bring hospitals, social services and community healthcare closer together to improve services for patients.Hamish Stedman

Salford and Stockport are the first two localities to benefit from part of a £450 million ‘Transformation Fund’ which was awarded to the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to help the region achieve the fastest and greatest improvement to its health and wellbeing through the process of devolution.

The money will be used to provide patients with better access to GPs, pharmacies and community care, improve mental health services and reduce the length of time patients are needlessly spending in hospitals through the setting up of local Integrated Care Organisations (ICO).

These new models of care will bring together frontline services and commissioning to reduce number of hospital trips for patients by ensuring more care is provided closer to home and promoting improved health and wellbeing.

In addition, Manchester has been granted a small amount of funding to support the ongoing development of plans to establish a Single Hospital Service model across the City of Manchester. This will be scoped alongside the creation of a new ICO and a single commissioning function to provide a unified and integrated system that delivers the best patient outcomes for city residents.

Manchester is expected to apply for full funding later this year as are the remaining localities of Greater Manchester, with further funding decisions expected in Autumn.

The decision to award Salford and Stockport £17million and £19million over three years respectively has been made following an independent application process, which assessed the region’s health and social care plans.

For Salford, the money will be used to improve health and social care services for adults across the city. GP practices will be able to work more closely together on effective patient care and some practices will now be able to stay open longer. The money will also fund the development of new projects to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce the number of avoidable hospital admissions.

The launch of Salford’s Integrated Care Organisation (ICO) earlier this month is another example of how the city is already working to improve health and social care. The ICO brought together 2,000 members of staff from across the city’s health and social care system into one single organisation. The ICO has a combined budget of £213m and is now responsibility for securing Salford’s mental health services, home visits and care homes.

Dr Hamish Stedman (pictured above), Chair of NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This money is good news for the people of Salford. It will help us to carry out the city’s plans for more joined-up care. If we can spot a patient’s health and social care needs early, we will be more set up to offer them the support they need as soon as possible.”

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board, said: “We worked hard to secure a £450million Transformation Fund to transform Greater Manchester’s health and social care system and we are determined to ensure patient services are improved as much as possible through sound, effective investment.

“This investment will help us to achieve this aim and I have every confidence that Salford and Stockport will use the funding to bring real improvement to the health outcomes of their regions. We are now looking forward to working with other regions across Greater Manchester to achieve similar goals.”

It was announced in December 2015 that Greater Manchester was to receive the £450 million Transformation Fund from NHS England to support the region to transform services and deliver long-term clinical and financial sustainability.

The Fund has been established to benefit all areas of Greater Manchester and further programmes will be assessed in due course with work well underway to finalise equivalent proposals in each district.

The decision regarding Transformation Funding is subject to final agreement of terms through the negotiation of the investment agreement between the localities and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.