Old man smiling

Rise in Greater Manchester life expectancy down to taking control

Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership has confirmed that an academic paper published recently shows that the life expectancy in the area rose thanks to the devolution deal that saw the region take control of its health and care spending.

The research, conducted by the University of Manchester, says at eight of the ten areas of Greater Manchester saw increases in life expectancy of 0.2 years higher than other comparable areas, and higher than the increases previous to the signing of the devolution agreement.

Wider partnerships and closer working systems are thought to be the driving force of the increases, with them being two of the main selling points of the new integrated care systems.

Former leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said:

“We are delighted that our work in Greater Manchester in improving people’s health has been recognised; and that the value we place on our relationships and strong system working has been acknowledged in this report. Whilst the gains are small, changes in life expectancy are typically slow to achieve and shaped by a range of factors.

“It shouldn’t be right that the length of time you live in good health depends on where you are born. We’ve got much more to do to improve people’s health and wellbeing, and create a healthier, fairer, more equal society. This paper recognises that success in the NHS is dependent on greater collaboration with partners such as local government, the voluntary sector and citizens.

“Our ten local areas started at different points so it is expected that progress will be made at different rates, and we are encouraged that our approach bringing together health and other public services is having a positive impact. We will continue to invest in and grow our population health approach, working with local areas to do so. The Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the poorest in our society and work to turn the tide on inequalities is more important than ever.”

Greater Manchester’s integrated care system launched in July 2022 and is comprised of a new NNHS organisation, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, which oversees an integrated care partnership.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, added:

“This is a clear indication that the devolution of powers to a local level is delivering better outcomes for people and is helping to improve their health.

“I believe this is all about us having the freedom to do things differently, in a way we know works and centres around what’s best for people here. With the powers and resources, we now have, we’re able to better join public services, including health and social care, together across the whole of Greater Manchester as part of one team that’s more efficient and effective.

“We are in discussions with Government about Greater Manchester having more devolution of powers and I will continue to make that case because we know it’s working, we know we’re delivering, and the evidence supports it. I’m proud of what we’ve started to deliver, but I know we can go even further.”

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