Together we can make this city healthier
As you will know, Manchester, like the rest of the country, is facing a major challenge to update a health and social care system, which was designed around seventy years ago. This was when most treatment was provided from hospital and infectious diseases were rife.
Fast forward to today and it’s a very different picture.
Our biggest issues now are chronic diseases – like heart problems, cancer, breathing conditions and other illnesses which patients can live with, often for many years. And, moves in science, technology and care mean that it’s easier to treat people without going to hospital.
We’re lucky in Manchester because we have excellent staff, hospitals, community facilities, and primary and social care services, to look after millions of us every year.
But, despite this, we have some of the worst health outcomes in the country. For example women in Manchester die younger on average than anywhere else in England. We can’t let this go on.
So far, different parts of the NHS, local government and other public sector organisations have tended to provide services separately to the same patients – and often after they have become ill. This is what we need to change.
We need to join services up, end any overlap, and work more with individuals, their families and their carers. Why? Because not only will this bring better care for the patient, but it will also give better value for money.
It’s a dynamic time for Manchester as all care providers – from hospitals, social services, mental health groups, GPs, and pharmacists to the ambulance service, and voluntary sector organisations – have joined forces for a fundamental change in how they work together.
Key parts include joining up:
- How we buy, or commission services;
- How hospitals work together;
- and providing more services in the community.
So what does this mean? It means there will be investment in local services, outside of hospital and closer to people’s homes.
It means recognising that there can’t be a divide between mental and physical health – as they often need to be treated at the same time.
But, even more importantly, it means putting the patient in charge – by giving tailored support, which helps with keeping people independent.
What the next five year look like for health and social care
The vision that describes the future of health and social care in the city over the next five years is Manchester’s Locality Plan – called A Healthier Manchester.
This ambitious plan gives details of the city’s approach to joining up services (integration) and improving health care, while also making it more affordable.
It has equal commitment from Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Manchester City Council, Central Manchester Foundation Trust; University Hospital of South Manchester, Pennine Acute Hospital Trust and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The role of the voluntary sector is key to this work, along with patient groups and organisations like Healthwatch.
It also relies on the part that every person living here can play in looking after their own health and that of their communities.
We want to see:
Healthy households – where we can look after ourselves our family and friends. Households where people stay active, learn about and look after their physical and mental health and have an active social life.
Healthy neighbourhoods – with good transport, leisure, social and cultural activities, information and advice. Areas where people are good neighbours and happy to volunteer and do something for others.
Community-based care – where a whole range of professional services including community nursing, social workers, occupational therapists, community pharmacists, health visitors and GPs are all working together in the community. Blood tests, diagnositic services, physio, medication reviews and health and wellbeing advice are all based in the community.
Hospital care and other residential care – which can focus on accident and emergency services; specialist care and surgery.
Within the locality plan there are three essential elements, which is why they are called pillars. These are the foundations for how the city will buy services (Single Commissioning Function), provide care based in the community (Local Care Organisation) and hospital services (Single Hospital System).