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Policy Trends in 2016

9 Jan 2017 - 16:41 by Nigel Rose

This briefing is a humorous (we hope) summary of some of the key trends that Macc’s Policy and Influence team have spotted during the last year that we think will impact on Manchester’s Voluntary Sector over the next year. It is not comprehensive by any means and we apologise for all the really important and vital stuff that we’ve missed out.

Voluntary sector is OK!
Our time has come. We are officially recognised by all kinds of people everywhere, in lots of strategic documents, as being really important. We are vital to people’s health and wellbeing. We no longer have to hide in the shadows. We can hold our heads high. We can be proud. We are an ASSET............................ Now! Show us the money!

Thems that got shall have, thems that's not shall lose
We tried the normal growth and it just didn’t work. Or rather it did work but only for people who had loads of money already. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer. The World Bank and the OECD finally realised that this is A Bad Thing, mainly because poor people don’t buy much. It turns out that market economies work better if the money is evenly distributed, a disturbingly socialist idea for them to have.

The solution is Inclusive Growth, and Manchester University now has an Inclusive Growth Unit and Greater Manchester is fully committed to inclusive growth. The proposals so far do look a bit like what everyone was trying to do before, better education, jobs, and housing. At least we’ve got a new name for it. Which is nice.

The “Best of All Possible Worlds”
Things are looking up, there is hope, there are transformation plans abounding. There is the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan, there is the transformation fund for health and social care in Manchester, the plan for a radical upgrade in public health. Manchester is a thriving, bustling and successful city, and we need to be optimistic about the future. Brexit was a bit of a bump and Trump may not be the perfect President. But there is no reason for despair. We all need to work together.

Despite falling budgets, rising inequity, faltering growth, we can make things better …… ….or at the very least make things slightly less bad than they might have been.

Ask not what your city can do for you
Our Manchester is the new community strategy for Manchester. It’s a list of things that we all agree with: a thriving and sustainable city; a progressive and equitable city; a liveable and low carbon city; a highly skilled city; a connected city. Alongside it is an attempt to create a new relationship between citizen and city, to move away from the command and control model to one where the City Council works in partnership and really tries to understand what’s going on in people’s lives – in short, to become much more like the voluntary sector. This can only be a good thing and we wholeheartedly support it. The NHS are going to be doing it as well so we hear.

Manchester is too big and it’s a really odd shape. We tried dividing into North, Central and South, and then into 5 areas, then three again. In the 1990s we tried 4 areas. The new magic number for 2017 is….12! Twelve, is how many “neighbourhoods” there are. In each neighbourhood everyone will know each other, work together, we will map assets, we will assist the neighbourhood to develop, we will get to know the strengths and hopes and build resilience.

Last year integration was a bit of a theory but this year progress was made. There are GP leads for most neighbourhoods, meeting of workers in neighbourhoods, neighbourhood data sets and a neighbourhood management structure and even money for community link workers and wellbeing development (In North only).

Now everything is starting to be linked up at a neighbourhood level, there’s only one remaining problem, how to integrate neighbourhoods with services at city-wide level.

And they shall become one
One hospital, one LCO (Local care organisation, one commissioner (and one Clinical Commissioning Group. The endless cycle of the universe continues. These are the three and a bit pillars on which the future of health and social care in Manchester sits. Our hopes for the future, as always, turn out to be a need for restructuring.

North Manchester General Hospital really isn’t doing so well, it will be joined it with the other hospitals in Manchester, once it’s been fixed by the hospitals in Salford. The many providers of community care don’t work so well together, so let’s join them together in a £1 billion pound “special purpose vehicle”. Health and social care needs to work together so let’s do joint commissioning (just like we used to have a few years ago before it was closed down when the Government decided we needed CCGs).

No idea why anyone ever thought having 3 CCGs was a good idea when every other borough in GM has a single one.

The force within
One of the big problems in Manchester is people, ordinary people that is, who just refuse to take responsibility for themselves and who are dependent on others, unlike everyone else who isn’t dependent. However can we get them to take more responsibility and look after themselves properly? Or might there be some problem with what we are doing? Maybe, gods forbid, it’s our behaviour that needs changing.

The change, as ever, starts with us. We only truly have the power to change ourselves and through that change we change others. The enabling self-care strategy and other initiatives in the city are about how health and social care staff can work in a way that starts from what the strengths that people have and what they want to achieve rather than solely focussing on their problems.

Deep Impact
Several years ago astronomers (that is everyone involved in health and social care policy) saw the comet of social care approaching. There was much debate. There was much weeping and wailing and a few attempts to divert the comet (e.g. The Care Act) but nothing worked. The only solution was large amounts of money and there isn’t enough ever going to be enough of that on the whole planet earth, well not if we want to keep taxes low. 2017 is when it hits!

Weak limerick as can’t think of anything humorous. Anyone got a better one?

There once was a man called Tim
Who wanted to be mayor of GM
He counted the money
That’s not very funny!
And decided to go back to Lymm

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Nigel Rose's picture


Submitted by Nigel Rose on

There once was a Devolution
Which everyone hoped the solution
No money to spend
So Burnham phoned a friend
And Hammond asked May. Oh bollocks.


From Chris Larkin from the Stroke Association

Submitted by Nigel Rose on

Contributed by Macc's staff member Karen Dyson

Nineteen seventy four – since when
GM’s had not one council but ten
But now devolution
Has found a solution
And stuck ‘em together again

There once was an MP called Burnham
Who said, ‘public opinions? I spurn ‘em!
Despite former rejection
Of a Mayoral election,
Now they’ve got me! (That’ll learn ‘em!)


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