Case studies

Tackling health inequalities in Greater Manchester

Helping Greater Manchester transform health and social care provision, reducing inequalities, and simplifying patient experience.

In April 2016, Greater Manchester became the first region in England to be given the freedom and responsibility to look after the health and social care of its 2.8 million population; a population with a significantly lower life expectancy than most of the UK. Now in control of a £6 billion-plus budget, the Greater Manchester Strategic Partnership wants to tackle those health inequalities and inconsistency in care, and asked us to help design a process for transforming health and social care provision across the region.

We knew the scale of the challenge called for radical, fresh ideas not constrained by the usual five-year planning process. So we asked staff and partners across Greater Manchester to submit ideas that ventured beyond the traditional to offer ambitious and innovative solutions to the recurring problems in the health and social care system.

We convened a panel of experts drawn from Deloitte and The King’s Fund (an independent health charity) to evaluate the proposals received, and divided them into themes encompassing prevention and self-management; community-based services; and the improvement of acute and specialist care. From these proposals, we helped the Greater Manchester Combined Authority shape a strategy aimed at increasing life expectancy for all - including reducing the 15-year variation between the most deprived and least deprived, cutting the authority’s funding gap to zero, and simplifying the patients’ experience of using the services.

Over the next five years, Greater Manchester will continue to transform community-based care through schemes that put GPs at the heart of the new model. With a strong emphasis on prevention and the individual taking responsibility for their own wellbeing, the new regime will integrate healthcare with mental health, social care and the voluntary sector. Acute and specialist care providers will also operate in a more standardised way to reduce unwarranted variation in care standards. Greater Manchester will work closely with clinical support and back-office services to make sure the infrastructure supporting the transformation runs without a hitch.

[1] Amount of money needed by the authority to fund operations that is not currently provided by cash, equity or debt.

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