In a joint statement 10 local authorities, 12 CCGs, 14 NHS partners, NHS England and the government confirmed reports that discussions are underway to create an integrated local health and social care budget.
Salford CCG chairman Dr Hamish Stedman said the plans were a ‘genuine opportunity to enhance health outcomes for the people of Greater Manchester by aligning health and social care and public sector reform’.
‘Treating a person as a whole - rather than by separate conditions - is designed to bring long-term benefits and independence,' he said.
But Manchester LMC honorary secretary, Dr Tracey Vell, said GPs hoped that local authority budget deficits would not be plugged by health funds.
'These wide sweeping changes will affect millions of people. We need to look carefully at exactly how they will affect the commissioning and delivery of services, and what the impact on patient care will be. We must also ensure clinicians have a central role in decisions over health care, something which was undermined by the Health and Social Care Act', she said.
Groundbreaking NHS funding plan
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘NHS England is working on this groundbreaking offer to the local NHS in Greater Manchester and elected local authorities because we want to back local leaders and communities who come together to improve the health and care of their residents and patients.'
Chancellor George Osborne said: ‘We’re discussing a plan for bringing together the NHS and social care in Manchester so we provide better care for patients. This is exactly what we want to see more of in our healthcare.
'It’s also about giving Greater Manchester more control over things run in Greater Manchester – which is what our vision of a Northern powerhouse is all about. It’s early days, but I think it’s really exciting development. We’ll be working hard now with Greater Manchester and NHS England on getting the details right so the arrangements work best for patients.’