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Deal to devolve £6bn NHS and social care budget to Manchester is signed

Under the deal Greater Manchester will begin control of its budget from April

Ingrid Torjesen

Friday, 27 February 2015

The deal that will see the £6bn health and social care budget in Greater Manchester controlled by local leaders has been signed by Government ministers.

NHS England, 12 CCGs, 15 NHS providers and 10 local authorities have agreed a memorandum of understanding that will see ‘joint decision-making on integrated care to support physical, mental and social wellbeing’. This deal has been countersigned and approved by chancellor George Osborne and health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "Today's landmark agreement between NHS England, the local NHS and local government leaders charts a path to the greatest integration and devolution of care funding since the creation of the NHS in 1948. While continuing to deliver on national care standards and the patient rights set out in the NHS Constitution, Greater Manchester now has a unique opportunity for innovation and improvement in health and wellbeing. The eyes of the country will now be on what this new partnership can deliver, and today the work begins."

Lord Peter Smith, chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: "This is another defining moment in Greater Manchester’s devolution journey. The scope and nature of this unprecedented agreement means we are proudly breaking new ground once more.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: "I am excited about all this because not only does it mean the people of Greater Manchester having more control over the decisions that affect their lives; I believe it will also lead to better, much more joined up health care. For example, it should mean more people leaving hospital sooner, and others avoiding having to go to hospital altogether. This is just the start of the journey‎."

Dr Hamish Stedman, chair of Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "GPs want better health outcomes for all patients and this agreement is the start of a road map to a healthier Greater Manchester."

Councillor Cliff Morris, Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) lead on health, said: "This is an absolutely central element of what we are trying to achieve through our ambitious public service reform programme. The key principle is improving people’s lives, in this case moving from being one of the places where people have the worst health outcomes to becoming one of the best.

"By fully integrating health and social care we can focus on preventing illness and promoting well-being across all age groups.”

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