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Our digital plan is helping us to connect and modernise our health and social care system. We’re empowering staff with technology that helps them provide better care, while making services more accessible for people, wherever they are in Greater Manchester.

Our Information Management and Technology Strategy was endorsed by our board in June 2016 – and our Greater Manchester Digital Collaborative is responsible for putting it into action.

It’s based on five key principles (in summary):

  • Giving people more control through technology-assisted care services – for instance, our patient portal gives people access to their own health and social care data
  • Connecting people and services through an expanded wireless network, virtual systems, better directories and messaging applications
  • Combining information, sharing records and bringing together applications across all health and social care organisations, allowing the right information to be in the right place at the right time so that better, safer decisions can be made
  • Working together through merged teams that bring together varied skills, digital applications and resources
  • Understanding our population’s needs by looking at all the data we have for Greater Manchester, and using it to change how we commission services in the future 
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Making the best use of our hospitals, general practices and other clinical buildings is crucial to our plans for joined-up, community-based care across Greater Manchester.

Our buildings vary considerably in terms of how suitable they are for services. We have a number of good quality buildings that could be better used, while others are no longer fit for purpose.

Our plans explain how we’re developing, managing and prioritising our buildings.

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We have four big priorities in our workforce plan: helping our leaders, carers and volunteers to develop; supporting our staff, apprentices and people on placements; improving our offer of employment; and filling difficult roles.

We’ve been working with Health Education England (HEE) to equip our workforce with new skills so they can offer better services.

Our Pride in Practice training project is helping dentists, opticians and pharmacists to meet the needs of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people. 

We’ve also established award schemes that celebrate the people who’re making a difference to people’s health in Greater Manchester, as well as raise awareness of their vital roles in our communities.

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Commissioning care

To achieve our devolution aims, we need to change the way we buy, organise and provide health and social care services. The Greater Manchester Commissioning Strategy outlines how we’ll do this.

Devolution is giving us the freedom to work together in new ways. Combining our buying powers across the region is one of them.

Our commissioning strategy outlines the steps we’ve already taken toward joint and investment-led care planning and buying across our health and social care services.

With this approach, we can:

  • Support a shift from reactive to preventative services, so we’re helping more people to stay well and providing support as early as possible
  • Provide more joined-up, community-based care and support
  • Focus on priority areas including adult social services, children’s services, learning disabilities and mental health
  • Make acute and specialist care, and clinical support services, more consistent – so that people receive the same standard of care wherever they are in the region
  • Share services and skills, and change how we work more quickly and effectively
  • Develop homecare and residential care that we can continue to fund and maintain
  • Take a more joined-up view of health, care and wider public-sector changes
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Primary care

Primary care plays a central role in our new joined-up health and social care system. Our plans are transforming general practice across our ten boroughs, as well as improving eye and dental care and our pharmacy services – making sure everyone has access to the care they need.

To ensure this happens, we’re committed to making the best use of modern technology, investing in our buildings and bringing staff together into combined health and care teams.

Our plans include:

  • Investing £42m to put GPs back at the heart of the NHS across Greater Manchester
  • Providing more access to GPs and a range of other health and social care services – from blood tests and x-rays to support for nursing and residential homes
  • Basing these improved services around neighbourhoods, where groups of GP practices each serve 30,000 to 50,000 people
  • Expanding our primary care workforce to give doctors more time to provide care for patients who need it
  • Better connecting doctors to our support services – such as community nursing, long-term condition clinics, housing and voluntary groups
  • Providing urgent 24/7 primary care, which will be easier for people to access
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Tobacco is at the root of many of our health problems in Greater Manchester. To address these problems, we need to cut smoking rates further and faster than anywhere else in the world.

The Tobacco-free Greater Manchester Strategy sets out our ambition to get a third of people here to stop smoking by 2021. This will result in 115,000 fewer smokers, supporting a tobacco-free generation and ultimately helping to make smoking history.

Great progress has been made over the last ten years, but:

  • 13 people a day in Greater Manchester (that’s 4,500 each year) die of cancers and other terminal illnesses related to smoking
  • 60,000 more people smoke here than anywhere else (according to the national average rate)
  • Every hour another child starts smoking in Greater Manchester – that’s a whole classroom every day

We’re aiming to cut smoking to one person in eight (ideally fewer) over the next four years by:

  • Offering new ways to quit, including digital services such as apps providing tailored support
  • Targeting specific groups of people such as pregnant women – we have an incentive scheme encouraging the most vulnerable pregnant women to stay smoke-free
  • Ending smoking outside hospital doors and reducing it in our own workplaces
  • Aiming to create more smoke-free areas in public spaces such as parks and meeting points
  • Promoting our Ditch or Switch message, which supports swapping cigarettes for vaping
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Mental health

We’ve made a promise to radically improve the mental health and wellbeing of people in Greater Manchester – by putting it on an equal footing with our physical health.

Our £134m action plan will transform mental health services and target the root causes of mental illness at an earlier stage. This investment is the biggest and most ambitious of its kind in the country.

We’re working to:

  • Better connect public services, communities and individuals to improve people’s mental wellbeing and life chances
  • Improve access to a good range of mental health services across Greater Manchester
  • Make services more joined up and efficient, improving how people experience them
  • Use the Partnership to agree quality-of-care standards and clear, measurable results
  • Improve public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health needs and reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems say they experience, whether in their personal relationships, their social lives, at work or in their treatment within the services

We’ve also promised to spend more (60% of our mental health budget) on supporting the emotional and mental health needs of children, young people and new mums.

With a wide-ranging plan over four years, we aim to:

  • Make sure thousands more children can get mental health support where and when they need it, avoiding the prospect of any child who needs help being turned away
  • Support all schools in giving their students the support and confidence-boost they need
  • Help new and prospective mums who experience serious mental health problems (babies and children whose mums have poor mental health can be affected for life)
  • Provide hospital care here in Greater Manchester, so no-one has to be treated elsewhere in the country
  • Make sure anyone in a mental health crisis can get support right away, and that no one ends up cared for in a police cell
  • Help people with serious mental illnesses to take better care of their physical health – at the moment, these people die 15 to 20 years earlier than average for their age and area
  • Offer extra support to people who’re unemployed in the long-term or who’re at risk of losing their jobs because of a mental health problem
  • Reduce adult suicides by ten per cent
  • Improve dementia care and shorten the time people have to wait for help
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We’re working together to make Greater Manchester the best-possible place for those living with dementia. By 2021, many more people will have a full care plan that’s reviewed at least once a year, and a named care coordinator.

Before April 2016, our dementia diagnosis rates were already higher than the national average. Now, with added investment and more rapid changes to the way we do things, seven more people a day are being diagnosed than in most other places.

We’ve put £2.29m into our long-term programme Dementia United, so we can provide even better care and support on people’s doorsteps.

This includes:

  • Agreeing standards and ways of working, to make sure help people get the same top-quality care wherever they are in Greater Manchester
  • Introducing more dementia-friendly services and developing resources such as awareness toolkits
  • Bringing together professionals and volunteers to share best-practice
  • Joining forces with existing local projects, as well as funding new ones
  • Making the most of our world-class dementia research to try out new treatments
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We want to give people in Greater Manchester the best chance of avoiding or surviving cancer. Our cancer plan involves new ways of: raising awareness, developing effective treatment and running cancer services that will still work in the future.

But there’s a lot of work to do to provide people here with cancer services that match the best in the world.

If we’re going to prevent more cases of cancer, we’ll have to overcome some big challenges. More adults smoke in Greater Manchester than in other parts of England. What’s more, fewer people here attend screening for breast, cervical and bowel cancers than in other areas. So we’re missing opportunities to spot problems early on.

Lots of organisations and groups of people across Greater Manchester have been involved in developing our cancer plan. These include hospitals, local councils, GPs, voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises, as well as people affected by the disease.

Our plan sets out six key aims along with details of how we’re going to achieve them – from helping to prevent cancer and providing earlier and better diagnosis to improving care and making it consistent across all boroughs.

We’ve promised to:

  • Reduce the number of adults smoking by more than one in ten by 2020
  • Improve one-year survival rates by more than three quarters by 2020
  • Prevent 1,300 avoidable cancer deaths before 2021
  • Offer the best-possible patient experience, achieving an average overall rating of nine out of ten in the national survey
  • Exceed the national standard for starting treatment within 62 days of urgent cancer referral
  • By 2019, make recovery care available to all patients when they finish their treatment
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Every child deserves the best start from the very first moments of life and every parent, or parent-to-be, should feel confident they are receiving the highest standard of support and care. Here in Greater Manchester we’re working hard to make all our maternity services as safe, kind and personal as possible for everyone using them.

Our maternity and newborn plan is based on the national Better Births maternity review (link or no link). We spoke to lots of women and their families who use, or have used, maternity services as well as the staff that deliver them. We want to improve quality and continuity of care during and after pregnancy. Our plan includes hospitals, community services and specialist services to ensure every child ‘starts well’.

We’re aiming to:

  • Promote safe and effective maternity and newborn care
  • Give women more choice and services personalised to them
  • Increase continuity of carer with women seen by the same healthcare professionals during their pregnancy
  • Ensure babies and families that need neonatal care have access to the best possible neonatal care
  • Provide parents with the postnatal care they need for their new family
  • Better recognition and treatment of mental health during and after pregnancy
  • Creating services that lead to the best outcomes
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It is predicted that over 25% of people living in Greater Manchester will develop diabetes in their lifetime. We’re working with individuals and organisations from across the region to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes or at risk of developing it – enhancing both prevention and control of the disease and reducing complications from living with diabetes.

We’re aiming to prevent the rise in type 2 diabetes by:

  • Improving the health of children and young adults
  • Identifying those most at risk so we can support them to make healthy changes

We want to help people control their diabetes by:

  • Developing local guidelines about how to use medicine to control diabetes
  • Providing information and education to help people manage their condition
  • Creating better links between the community and hospitals so they work in partnership to plan each person’s diabetes care
  • Reversing type 2 diabetes where possible through healthy changes
  • Helping people to access regular tests to monitor their overall health such as kidney function tests and eye screenings
  • Helping young people’s move from children and young people’s diabetes services to adult diabetes services as smoothly as possible

We also want to reduce the profound impact diabetes complications can have on people living with them as well as their families. We’re aiming to reduce heart, mental health and kidney complications through better detection and care management.

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Learning disabilities

People living with learning disabilities in Greater Manchester should be able to live their lives the way they want to – and be listened to when they tell us what they need. We’re working closely with people who have learning disabilities to make sure they feel welcome and included in their communities, and so we can provide services and support that work for them.

We’ve developed a Greater Manchester Learning Disability strategy, shaped by people with learning disabilities and their families too. Our plan has 10 priority areas:

  • Working with people with learning disabilities and their families to shape our strategy and plans
  • Supporting people to speak up for themselves and their peers ensuring they get the care and support they need
  • Creating services that give people with complex needs greater choice and control
  • Improving health outcomes for people with learning disabilities
  • Creating a sense of belonging not isolation
  • Improving housing options so people with learning disabilities can live as independently as possible
  • Supporting people with learning disabilities into work
  • Developing health and care staff across Greater Manchester so they are skilled to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities
  • Helping children and young people with learning disabilities and their families
  • Supporting victims of crime who have learning disabilities and helping offenders with learning disabilities make different choices
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Children and young people

We want children in Greater Manchester to have the best possible start in life. Our plan aims to support parents and local services in improving all aspects of children’s health and wellbeing, physically, mentally and emotionally.

To do this, we’re improving services for under-fives and supporting young people to be ‘life ready’ when they leave school for work or further education. We’re also improving access to children and adolescent mental health services and making sure children with long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy get the best possible care.

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