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Manchester close to 'formal integration' of joint commissioning

Commissioning powers in Manchester are to be shared between the city council and the city’s three CCGs as part of a drive to better join-up health and social care.

Papers published ahead of the Central Manchester CCG board meeting show that a joint commissioning board was established on 23 May and a joint commissioning executive on 1 June.

The executive, which is responsible for joint commissioning decisions worth £1.2bn, includes the chief officers of South Manchester, North Manchester and Central Manchester CCGs and the strategic director of adult social services.

It is chaired by Ian Williamson, the chief officer of Central Manchester CCG and senior responsible officer for the Healthier Together programme, which includes all 12 Greater Manchester CCGs.

It is accountable to the boards of the three CCGs and reports to the joint commissioning board. However, Deloitte has been commissioned to carry out an independent appraisal of the possibility of creating a more formal structure with responsibility for joint commissioning.

The company will talk to staff from the three CCGs and the council before producing its final report at the beginning of August.

The joint commissioning plans are part of the city’s Locality Plan, which is designed to better integrate health and social care, improve health outcomes and transform services in areas including public health, mental health and urgent care.

As part of the plan, Manchester is also establishing a local care organisation, designed to integrate out of hospital care.

Providers expect to begin delivery of phase one of the plan to all 12 neighbourhoods in Manchester by the end of July.

As the third part of the Locality Plan, the council has approved plans to integrate the city’s three hospitals into a single trust.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority recently set out plans for reforms to the city’s integrated care, including reforming the unsustainable system of care for people living at home, defining a single social offer across the region and reducing the demand on the urgent care system by 5%.

The plans come as part of a greater drive across the country to integrate health and social care services, set out in the Five Year Forward View.

Speaking recently at the Health+Care conference, Stephen Dorrell, the chair of NHS Confederation, praised Greater Manchester Combined Authority for offering “a new vision” of joined-up public services.

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