Strengthening health and care services for the people of Bury is a key aim of a £19.2 million plan to help people lead healthier, happier lives.
The programme of improvements, called the Bury Locality Plan, involves changing traditional ways of supporting and treating people, with more focus on support nearer the home and in the community.
Health and care professionals, community groups and voluntary organisations are working together closely to deliver a more joined-up service with reduced duplication, meaning people will ‘only have to tell their story once’ to receive coordinated support from different agencies.
An example of the new approach is happening in Radcliffe and Prestwich where GPs are leading pilot ‘integrated neighbourhood teams’, with social workers and district nurses working together in the same ‘hub’ or office in the communities they serve.
These neighbourhood teams will be launched across the borough this spring. GPs and their practices will work with the group to identify people who need more support to help them stay well and out of hospital. The team hubs will not be open to the public – people will still go to their pharmacists or GP surgeries/medical centres for help and advice.
This new emphasis on preventing people getting ill and needing hospital treatment will see services like physiotherapy offered in the home, rather than on a hospital ward, supporting people to live healthier lives and becoming better informed about what support is available. There will also be increased support at home to help people leave hospital as soon as they are ready.
As part of the new approach, NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bury Council, the organisations that decide how the health and social care budgets are spent, are now working together, as a single commissioning body, called the Bury One Commissioning Organisation, making joint decisions on how best to spend the money.
Greater Manchester is leading the way nationally with this new health and care partnership approach, which follows the historic devolution deal between the city region and central government, and allows the area to take charge of its £6 billion health and social care budget.
Bury has committed to investing £19.2 million from devolution’s Greater Manchester Transformation Fund and has invested additional money locally to create services fit for the 21st century.
Dr Jeff Schryer, chair of Bury CCG and a Prestwich GP, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make huge improvements to how we look after people in Bury and encourage them to look after themselves.
“By working together, we can make sure we get help faster to those who need it the most, reduce the pressure on hospitals and help thousands of people remain well for longer than is currently the case.”
As well as bringing health and care services closer together, the Locality Plan will focus on getting every child ready to start school, mental health services and encouraging people to look after their own health and wellbeing.
Geoff Little OBE, Chief Executive at Bury Council and Bury CCG Accountable Officer, said: “The Locality Plan, spearheaded by the planned launch of the neighbourhood teams across the borough, is the start of a new way of supporting each other and making sure we fulfil Bury’s potential, giving children the best start in life and older people the chance to live better lives for longer.
”We’re looking at everything, from eating habits to exercise, as well as the ability to earn a decent living, and want everyone to play a role, helping us to use our health and care budget carefully by taking care of their health.”
A body called the Bury Locality Care Alliance has been established to implement the Locality Plan, bringing together the separate organisations which provide health and care services in Bury, including Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Care Alliance, using one budget and one way of working. Its name will change to Bury Local Care Organisation in April this year.