A healthy new direction or a costly gamble?

By Judith Barnes and Ros Ashcfort | 03 March 2015

The news that the NHS’s £6bn health and social care budget for Greater Manchester will be taken over by the Greater Manchester local authorities will no doubt have sent shockwaves through many involved in delivering NHS services.

The plan, which will come into effect from April 2016, will link to the election of a new Greater Manchester directly- elected Mayor who (it is said) will control how budgets are allocated. This is a big step forward for place-based delivery of integrated public service provision.

In addition to having control of £2bn transferred to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority last year for skills training, transport and planning, the transfer of £6bn NHS funds means that local politicians will decide on how more than a quarter of government money is spent in the area.

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