Greater Manchester: The Devolution of Health and Social Care

There are 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.

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 find local solutions to the health inequalities that disproportionately affect the communities of the region and its 2.8 million residents. This will be managed by a partnership of local authorities and statutory bodies, known as the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

The voluntary and community sector, including community radio stations has an important part to play with direct connections in communities, and a strong track-record of trusted, effective and innovative work.

More information about the GM Health and Social Care Partnership can be found here: GM Health and Social Care Partnership

More information about Devolution in Greater Manchester and the VCSE sector can be found here: Devolution in GM


The VCSE Devolution Reference Group:

The VCSE Devolution Reference Group seeks to promote the role and involvement of the VCSE sector and communities in devolution. It comprises individuals from eighteen voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations from across Greater Manchester.

The objectives of the group are:

To champion VCSE engagement in devolution across Greater Manchester by promoting the vital role the sector plays in working towards a more equal society

To act as a point of contact for those working within Greater Manchester devolution and Greater Manchester’s VCSE sector

To share information and opportunities, operate transparently and think beyond individual organisations

To promote positive change and collaboration within the VCSE sector through devolution

To create a social movement for change that empowers the communities of Greater Manchester


The key messages are:

We are many. The army of staff, volunteers and supporters across the sector are a catalyst for change and a connector of people

Our role is critical for the economic success of devolution in Greater Manchester but also for the equally important cultural and social devolution that will help build a truly equal region

We can devise, develop and deliver solutions to some of the most challenging problems faced by Greater Manchester, breaking down barriers and building community confidence and cohesion, and ensure we move from crisis resolution to anticipation and prevention

We understand our communities. We can help drive people-powered change, harnessing social action and bridging the gap that can exist between public services and the people they serve

More information about the Reference Group can be found here: GM VCSE Devolution Reference Group


Memorandum of Understanding:

The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector officially signed an MoU with the GM Health and Social Care Partnership in February 2017. This sets out shared priorities between the two sectors, outlining work, which is underpinned by £1.1m in funding to the sector until 2021.

The MoU recognises that the GM health and social care strategy until 2021 aims to radically transform health, social care and wellbeing in Greater Manchester. This will depend on the work of VCSE organisations and our critical role in supporting people to look after themselves and each other in a collective way. Some shared priorities with community radio, or opportunities for community radio to contribute include:

  1. Communities involved in co-designing better health and social care
  2. Using the talent, reach and social value of VCSE organisations for the benefit of the people of Greater Manchester
  3. Develop a new way of working together in order to meet the challenges our communities face
  4. Engage people and communities in new and different ways of doing things
  5. Help people to lead healthier lives. VCSE activity (and community radio) enables people and communities to look after one another. Community radio can reach huge numbers of residents to bring about a positive shift from services to prevention while engaging the ‘missing thousands’
  • This refers to the number of people living in Greater Manchester with an undiagnosed medical condition, who rarely access health and social care services and may not be registered with a

More information about the MoU can be found here: Memorandum of Understanding


Taking Charge:

Taking Charge is the GM Health and Social Care Strategy until 2021. It aims to “radically transform health, social care and wellbeing in Greater Manchester” and outlines that a main aim of their approach to devolution is to broker a new relationship with the people of GM

Taking Charge of our health and social care in Greater Manchester

Transformation funding:

In April 2016. Greater Manchester took control of £6bn of public funding to look after and pay for its own health and social care throughout the region. This enables key decisions about health and social care to be made locally. It was agreed with NHS England that a fund of £450m should be established to transform the way that health and care is delivered and to look at new ways of working to improve health.

Transformation Funding must be linked to each boroughs Locality Plan. (Further information about the Manchester Locality Plan can be found in the Manchester section)

More information about the Transformation Fund can be found here: Transformation Fund


Person and Community Centred Approaches Team:

The most relevant department within the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to Community Radio is the Person and Community Centred Approaches Team.

The Person and Community Centres Approaches delivery support programme explains that:

“At the heart of our approach to devolution is the brokering of a new relationship with the people of Greater Manchester. In ‘Taking Charge’ we set out our vision to rebalance the relationship between people and public services towards prevention, community resilience and self-help. We said this was vital if we are to enable people to prevent and manage long-term health conditions, maintain their independence, improve their health and wellbeing and in doing so, live happier and healthier lives while also reducing demand on services”

“GM will only see affordable improvement to the health and wellbeing of its 2.8 million people with this change in relationship. This means focussing on people and place, not just organisation, and there is now solid evidence that practical person and community centred approaches reduce demand for health and care services and make people’s lives and health better”

“Person and community centred approaches form a central theme to the GM Reform Principles. Theme 1 of the GM Primary Care Strategy is ‘People-powered changes in health and behaviour’ and our GM Population Health Plan has PCCA as a key plank of the reform agenda, with specific objectives including building capacity and capability within localities; securing commitment across system leadership; and promoting health as a social movement”

Key characteristics of PCCA for Greater Manchester:

  1. Person centred care and support planning
  2. Integrated personal budgets
  3. Social prescribing
  4. Asset-based Approaches. “Is an umbrella term for a wide range of person and community centred approaches which enable individuals to access activities, support and expertise in their community which is tailored to their personal interests, goals and support needs. These activities, which promote self-care and improve health and wellbeing, are largely delivered by VCSE organisations and un-constituted community groups. They can focus on any issues where people have shared interests and have a wider therapeutic benefit to health and wellbeing”

Asset-based Approaches is a key area where Community Radio could make a significant contribution through the following opportunities:

  1. Communities of Practice
  2. Development of a communications campaign
  3. Health as a Social Movement.

Further details are provided within the opportunities section below

Some messages around PCCA include:

  1. Healthcare doesn’t have to be medical. Support can be person-centred and community based
  2. The power of citizens and communities to improve health and wellbeing by working with professionals and organisations across health and social care
  3. The benefits of everyone working together to support all aspects of people’s emotional, social and physical needs by focussing on what matters to the individual
  4. Using the strength of the community (abilities, skills and connections) – ‘Asset-based’ Approaches

Community Radio can be viewed as an asset based approach to person and community centred care, and can start to build relationships to bridge the gap between local communities and NHS colleagues in a number of ways.