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The Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, has announced that it is working with the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) Greater Manchester on a major project to evaluate and understand health and social care devolution in the Manchester area. The purpose of the work is to support the sharing of ‘devolution learning’ both regionally and nationally, with the aim of taking the experience from Manchester and sharing it with national policymakers and other areas applying to implement devolved health and care.

The research team will be co-led by Professor Kieran Walshe and Professor Ruth MacDonald at the University of Manchester.

In February 2015, Greater Manchester secured a ground-breaking deal with the Treasury to take control of the £6 billion currently spent on health and social care for the 2.8 million people of Greater Manchester. The health and social care devolution agreement, commonly described as ‘Devo Manc’, sets out plans for devolving control over health and social care decision-making and funding, bringing together all the local authorities and clinical commissioning groups of Greater Manchester.

Ian Williamson, Interim Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Devolution programme, comments: 'As the first location in England to achieve health and social care devolution status, we know that there is a wealth of important learning and knowledge to be gained from our experience. This research is critical not only for national policymakers and other areas interested in pursuing similar devolution arrangements, but for those actively involved in Devo Manc itself, with the opportunity for learning to be fed into the process in real-time to optimise further developments.’

Felicity Dormon, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, comments: ‘This project will ensure that health and social care devolution to Manchester is analysed, and that national policymakers and areas in other parts of the country have the chance to learn and build understanding of how the process works with a view to delivering more effective health care.’

This new project will be conducted over a two year period from Autumn 2015 and will explore questions related to three broad topics:

  • Mapping plans for improvements in the way services are delivered. The team will identify key initiatives in Greater Manchester looking to improve services and analyse them. They will understand what the initiatives entail, how they plan to meet their goals, and set out how their progress can be measured.
  • Understanding policy development and the policy process. As devolution is implemented in Greater Manchester the project team will build understanding of how local leaders achieve it, and what they expect from the process.
  • Describing and analysing governance, accountability, and organisational forms – understanding how they change as part of devolution, and the costs associated with making changes.

Media contact

Mike Findlay

Senior Media Manager

T: 020 7257 8047       

E: mike.findlay@health.org.uk

Notes to editors

Full information about this work can be found on The Health Foundation and the NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester websites.

The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to improve the quality of health care in the UK. We are here to support people working in health care practice and policy to make lasting improvements to health services. We carry out research and in-depth policy analysis, run improvement programmes to put ideas into practice in the NHS, support and develop leaders and share evidence to encourage wider change.  We want the UK to have a health care system of the highest possible quality – safe, effective, person-centred, timely, efficient and equitable. www.health.org.uk

The Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Greater Manchester is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is a partnership between providers and commissioners from the NHS, industry, the third sector and the University of Manchester. We aim to improve the health of people in Greater Manchester and beyond through carrying out research and putting it into practice. More information is available at www.clahrc-gm.nihr.ac.uk.

The NIHR is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website.

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