Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Local health leaders back NHS Devo Manc proposals

A group of health professionals have signed a statement backing government plans to devolve NHS spending to the newly created Greater Manchester city region.

The group issued a statement just hours after details of the deal made between Manchester councils and the government was released. A city region encompassing the whole of Greater Manchester and with an elected Mayor shall be created, with powers over transportation, health spending, social care, investment in skills, policing, and a range of other areas. In total, the city region will have control of around £12 Billion of government spending, a quarter of all spending in the area.

"We welcome the announcement that control of the NHS budget is to be handed to Greater Manchester authorities and we look forward to working much more closely with these elected local authorities", the statement said.

"Under the right conditions this can be an opportunity to ensure that our Manchester Health Service - MHS - brings much greater benefits to patients and communities."

"Manchester still has huge inequalities in health. The average age at death of people living in the most deprived parts of the conurbation is ten years less than among those living in the most prosperous areas. The NHS has never been able to tackle inequality on its own but the MHS will be the biggest employer in the region and with local councils must use its muscle to reduce inequality. At the same time we want to see an end to wasteful and damaging competition between hospitals. "

The statement was signed by Martin Rathfelder, Director of the Socialist Health Association, Angela Young of the young Manchester mental health alliance, Aneet Kapoor of the  Manchester local pharmaceutical company, and other local health practioners and specialists.

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