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GM Health and Social Care Devolution

Macc is involved in ongoing devolution discussions in Manchester to ensure the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector can play a full part in trying to ensure that devolution benefits the communities of Manchester. We have detailed below the main information we have so far and will continue to monitor and be involved in discussions and developments as devolution takes shape.

Fully devolved responsibility for health and social care was implemented in Greater Manchester in April 2016 and it was the first region in the country to take control of its combined health and social care funds, which were in excess of £6 billion. Devolution presents Greater Manchester with a unique opportunity to more directly tackle the health inequalities that disproportionately affect the communities of the region and its 2.8million residents. This will be led by politicians, councillors and senior health officials working in partnership and the voluntary and community sector has an important part to play with our connections in communities, and our track record of trusted, effective and innovative work.

The diagram below gives a clear summary of the new GM health and social care system:

In February 2019, Ben Gilchrist, Deputy Chief Executive at Action Together gave a presentation with lots of useful information on the latest developments in GM health and social care. A copy of the sides are available below. 

Through conversations with the GM VCSE Reference Group, a project was commissioned from the sector by the team leading on health and social care devolution. A partnership was put together led by GMCVO (and including Macc, other local infrastructure organisations, equalities groups and local Healthwatch organisations). The work was part of the “Taking Charge Together” campaign to inform the public about health and social care devolution, GMCVO and partners engaged over 1800 local people through a range of events, discussions and online surveys to explore what encourages and what makes it difficult for people to take charge of their health and wellbeing. The 'Taking Charge Together' report published in April 2016, focused on engaging marginalised communities and seldom heard voices. Most participants were enthusiastic about devolution and keen to improve their own health. However, social and environmental issues were seen as some of the most inhibiting factors which prevented people from making changes.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the NHS have formed a Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership which is tasked with overseeing devolution and taking charge of the £6bn health and social care budget. The partnership is made up of the 37 NHS organisations and councils in the city region. More details of their vision, aim and objectives can be found on their website.

Taking charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester is the strategic plan for devolved health and social care. This was published in December 2015 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the NHS in Manchester. It explains how, as a system, they are going to approach health and social care devolution and take action in areas including prevention, early intervention and self-care, redefining how primary, community and social services become the cornerstone of local care, specialist hospital services and efficient back office support. A copy of the strategic plan can be found at the bottom of this page.


Transformation Fund
Greater Manchester will receive £450million additional transformation funding to support the development of a new health and social care system, which aims to achieve four key goals (from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership website):

  • Creating a transformed health and social care system which helps many more people stay independent and well and takes better care of those who are ill
  • Aligning our health and social care system far more closely with the wider work around education, skills, work and housing – we spend our £22billion effectively
  • Creating a financially balanced and financially sustainable health and social care system – we spend our £6billion effectively and spend no more than that
  • Making sure all the changes needed to do this are done safely so the NHS and social care continues to support the people of Greater Manchester during the next five years.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care VCSE Memorandum of Understanding
On 27 January 2017, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. The 'MoU' has been negotiated on behalf of the sector by GMCVO and the Greater Manchester VCSE Devolution Reference Group. It will apply to work at both GM and locality levels and provide the framework for an inclusive approach including co-design and co-delivery, representation and resources.

The official signing of the MoU took place on 12 May at Manchester Town Hall.

A summary of the MoU is also available: click here to download

VCSE Health and Social Care Secondment
During April 2017, an opportunity was advertised for a 2 year full-time secondment into the GM Health and Social Care Partnership Team. This role will focus on building up the VCSE sector’s involvement in Health & Social Care devolution and, in particular, ensuring the Memorandum of Understanding is implemented. This post is currently vacant.

Approach to Equalities
This work forms part of the Health and Social Care VCSE Engagement Project, led by GMCVO on behalf of the Greater Manchester VCSE Devolution Reference Group. Here is an overview of the progress so far:

- Nov 2017: The first VCSE Assembly event took place where VCSE equalities organisations came together to find out about the project, the equalities work and were invited to join a co-design session
- Dec 2017: Co-design meeting between VCSE organisations, people with lived experience and public sector health and social care colleagues to begin to shape the ‘Approach to Equalities’ within the context of health and social care devolution in GM and produced the beginnings of an Equalities ‘Action Plan’
- Feb 2018: Second VCSE Assembly event reported back and added further input to the co-designed ‘Action Plan’, identified VCSE organisations interested in continued involvement in the process and seeking support to develop a Shadow Equalities Board to drive forward the next phase of the work in developing a strong Equalities Board function and group
- Mar-Apr 2018: Writing up of plans and reporting back to the Devolution Reference Group and GM Health and Social Care Partnership. You can find a copy of the report here: https://www.gmcvo.org.uk/HSCEngage/theme/equalities
- May-June 2018: Recruitment of Equalities Co-ordinator to lead on development of work and provide the secretariat function for the Board. Audrey Okyere-Fosu from BHA for Equality has been recruited to this role
- June 2018: First Shadow Equalities Board meeting held. It was decided to explore the option of developing an Equalities ‘commission’ rather than a formal ‘Board’ and the next steps are to agree a Terms Of Reference, firm up the Action Plan and start to investigate some of the ‘Equality Challenges’ identified in the co-design process (see report link above for more details). 

Recruitment for membership of the full ‘commission’ will be carried out openly and the VCSE places around this table will be widely advertised in Autumn 2018 with a parallel process taking place for public sector colleagues.

Kailash Chand, Co-chair of Shadow Equalities Board and GMCA portfolio holder for Equality, Fairness and Inclusion has shared these thoughts around the process:

"Devolution presents us with a real opportunity to directly influence the development of fair and inclusive health and social care services across GM, I appreciate all the hard the work undertaken so far, and encourage the sector to continue to participate in shaping equitable services across the region".

If you would like to find out more about this work and the next steps, please get in touch with the Equalities Co-ordinator, Audrey Okyere-Fosu via email: audrey@thebha.org.uk or phone: 0161 874 2177