As we mentioned last week, one of our pilot LEPs for the framework is Greater Manchester LEP (GM). GM has been making strides over the past decade toward greater devolution of powers from central government, to help reform public services alongside supporting local economic growth.
A core strength for the region
One of Greater Manchester’s core science and research strengths, as laid out in their recently undertaken Science and Innovation Audit (in partnership with East Cheshire), is their ability to innovate in healthcare.
GM has “the largest concentration of excellence in health research outside of the South East”. This therefore remains a core priority for action, and something that local collaborative partnerships are aiming to take control of and improve over the next few years.
Currently, health outcomes for some local people in Greater Manchester are among the worst in any part of the country, and health inequalities are deep-rooted.
The high prevalence of long term conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease mean that people in GM not only have a shorter life expectancy in many cases, but can expect to experience poor health at a younger age than in several other parts of the country.
Greater Manchester’s Health Devolution Agreement
Greater Manchester, in partnership with a number of local organisations and businesses, signed the Health Devolution Agreement in February 2015.
Worth £6bn a year, the Agreement offers a plan that will draw upon local public services, the region’s business base, an established and recognised research base, and local communities.
Together, these assets will offer a strong basis upon which to build an effective and innovative health infrastructure across the city.
This offers a unique step to accelerate health innovation into the local health and social care system. Greater Manchester is already in a strong position with three teaching hospitals, a research-led university base, a number of life science firms and skilled workers, and a large and diverse population.
In September 2015, the city additionally launched Health Innovation Manchester (HInM) – a partnership between leading healthcare research, academia and industry organisations.
By coordinating and harnessing research capabilities in the academic and health systems, HInM will speed up the discovery, development and delivery of innovative solutions to the NHS, focused on health informatics, building on GM’s data capabilities and expertise in clinical trials and precision medicine.
Health devolution will permit far greater use of devolved, but aligned, commissioning and procurement, allowing innovation and evidence to be adopted and deployed at pace and scale.
The partnerships, of course, go wider. Health North, a collaboration between research and NHS organisations in Manchester and seven other Northern cities (NHSA) will drive innovation in Healthcare across a population of 15 million.
Greater Manchester, great potential
There are also many locally based partnerships focusing on using health data to drive healthcare improvement. Greater Manchester is already among the largest recruiters to clinical trials in the UK and has capacity to do much more.
All this aims to accelerate the discovery, development and implementation of new treatments and approaches, with a focus on improving health outcomes and generating economic growth.
The combination of research strengths, business base and ecosystem, alongside devolution makes offer a unique opportunity for GM, but also for England as a whole.
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Please note: the above text has been adapted from the National Centre for University and Business State of the Relationship Report 2016.