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DEVOLUTION: Council To Control £6bn NHS Budget

Chancellor George Osborne to confirm devolved NHS powers to Greater Manchester

Written by . Published on February 25th 2015.


DEVOLUTION: Council To Control £6bn NHS Budget
 

GREATER Manchester will soon become the first area in England to be given full control of its £6bn NHS budget in the next wave of powers devolved from Westminster.

The ultimate aim is for full devolution of all public spending in the region - all £22bn of it.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to make the unexpected and unprecedented announcement later this week, with the Council's new powers expected to come into play from April 2016.

It is understood that a new board will be tasked with integrating Greater Manchester's health and social care service in order to ease escalating pressure on the NHS.

Northern Ireland already have the devolved health care powers, as will Scotland this year.

Town HallTown Hall

This is the latest and most significant step yet for DevoManca number of powers devolved to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (made up of the region's ten councils) in November 2014 worth roughly £1bn including control over some transport, planning, housing and policing budgets in exchange for a new Boris-brand elected mayor by 2017.

The new mayor will now oversee the region's entire NHS budget, a new housing investment fund of up to £300m, a welfare-to-work budget of £100m, £30m a year for growth, as well as greater responsibility for strategic planning, local transport and further education - roughly £7bn.

The ultimate aim, at least where Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese and Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein are concerned, is for full devolution of all public spending in the region - all £22bn of it.

The question now is what comes next in the Manchester plan? How about education, or that juicy £8bn welfare budget? Certainly the speed of movement on the NHS has surprised politicians and commentators. It seems that ahead of the General Election the Conservatives are in a hurry to show they mean business in their commitment to handing back powers to local administrations. The Labour Party nationally seems to have been caught flat-footed again.

Either way, this is extraordinary news for Manchester.

manchester.gov.uk/devomanc

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31 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

This is astonishing and almost too hard to comprehend. We will have the same control over our own affairs as the Welsh. It is up to us now how we progress. We can no longer blame Westminster if it goes wrong.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Poster BoyFebruary 25th 2015.

It is neither astonishing or hard to comprehend. Boy George is taking his last opportunity to increase (or should that be tighten) the noose for the Labour controlled GMCA to hang itself with.

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

I don't like the idea of a Labour dominated council being responsible for £6bn of money alotted to the NHS. That shower approved Piccadily Gardens, Library Walk etc. etc. etc.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkFebruary 25th 2015.

Me neither but I don't think they will be solely responsible. A new board will be set up to oversee the NHS budget and they will have the elected mayor to answer to. Hopefully the mayor won't be one of their candidates

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

Vote Tory or move to Wilmslow if you don't like it. Complaining about Manchester having a Labour council is somewhat like going to Jamaica and complaining that it's too hot, and there's too many black people.

MichaelFebruary 25th 2015.

They also helped transform the city from post-industrial wasteland to what we have now. Look at the positives as well as negatives.

Jonathan Schofield - editorFebruary 25th 2015.

I'm on a purge. Aimless, unreasoned bowel-blasts of vitriol will be removed. We aren't a football forum

rinkydinkFebruary 25th 2015.

The Labour council have indeed transformed Manchester in the 20-odd years I've lived here. However, they have to be answerable to someone with that amount of cash. Hence the reason for the elected mayor. The same would be required no matter who was in charge at the town hall

Duke FameFebruary 25th 2015.

It is a worry, you can just hear those in the town hall booking another private concert for themselves with the money BUT in principle, localism is good and I just hope the electorate will be more responsible when voting in the usual monkey in a red rosette next time.

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

What is impressive and unusual in this country is the sheer speed of the plans. The NHS budget announced now and the Interim Mayor in post by June 2015. He or she will take control until we elect one. I hope that someone high profile can be tempted to take this role. Danny Boyle would be the obvious choice,as he known Worldwide. Of course the Late Tony Wilson would have been a shoe in,but we need someone known outside the city to promote and bring in investment.The current crop of politicians in any of the Town halls are very dull and none of them are a Boris. This does not mean plastic Mancs with the only thing North West about them are their London postcodes though. Maxine Peake is very loyal to her roots and would make a good Deputy,Bolton born and Salford based.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

They have to run a £6bn healthcare system and you want actors and directors?

Duke FameFebruary 25th 2015.

Bit of a strange one that, the role of mayor becomes quite responsible, best not to put that power in the hands of someone who's only attribute is being good at let's pretend.

Voice of the Ironing BroadFebruary 25th 2015.

Could actors and directors be much worse than Lord Keith Bradley ...failed at Parrswood and failed at Christie Hospital? Any devolution needs to have high quality individuals to run it and the present council is sadly lacking. Last election council candidate told me he had "protected" adult services. I asked him what adult services were and he didn't know.

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

Will Pat Karney be throwing his name into the ring?

Poster BoyFebruary 25th 2015.

They will need a shiny new County Hall to house all those bureaucrats to administer this and more, plus a new office for the CEO, and a new parlour for the Mayor and... It won't be in Wigan or Rochdale of the City Centre that's for sure. The land they own at Airport City would make sense.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

It needs to be in North Manchester. I suggest Heaton Hall. That would make a magnificent assembly surrounded by the park

Concerned CitizenFebruary 25th 2015.

This will be an unmitigated disaster. As someone who currently works in local health services, I've seen first hand the total mess that has been made around consulting on proposed cuts and redesigns to public and mental health services by Manchester City Council officers, executives and elected members. They have absolutely no idea of how to run a proper consultation on changes to halath services, have no idea whatsoever about the very real effects of health inequality and deprivation in Manchester, and seemingly run their services to benefit their own staff and elected members, not the citizens who they are meant to be responsible to/for. Irrespective of who gets elected as Mayor of the Combined Authority, there will be radical, widespread, damaging and unnecessary changes to how health services across the Region are provided if this proposal actually happens and if local authorities - and particularly Manchester City Council- are allowed to control a budget of this size in the meantime. It's worth pointing out that the City Council need to make around £90 million worth of savings next year. Do anyone honestly think that without proper checks and balances being put in place, money will NOT be siphoned off from NHS budgets to cover this shortfall? They are already doing this from public health monies that have been handed over to them from the NHS. Where do you think all the traffic claming schemes in Chorlton and surrounding areas got their money from? I support devolution - but this is a step too far.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

No it won't...

AnonymousFebruary 26th 2015.

Concerned Citizen - thoroughly agree. Anonymous No1; yes it will. As another NHS worker who has seen first hand how MCC is siphoning money from Public Health to prop up their failing social care services; this would be an unmitigated disaster for the people of Manchester. Quite a number of senior clinicians across Manchester are VERY concerned with these plans, as it removes funding control from the clinical experts and places it into the hands of local authority cronies who have proven that they are not capable of managing tuck-shop money; never mind good healthcare.

AnonymousFebruary 26th 2015.

The public health budget is ring fenced. But you would expect LAs to seek ways around that condition to fund other health duties placed upon them when, unlike the bloated and hugely inefficient NHS, they have had to manage a near 40% cut to their budgets.

AnonymousFebruary 27th 2015.

@anoymous 2 ....no it won't....local people know what is needed, centralised bureaucracy based 100s of miles away like we have now haven't a clue about the needs of Greater Manchester.

AnonymousFebruary 27th 2015.

Anonymous @7:38 Contrary to the press; all NHS organisations have had to face 20-30% cuts in funding; putting people's lives in danger. Most health care overruns are because clinicians have had to be paid to look after those in need. We can always cut the funding and stop caring for people with health needs. Race to the bottom economics benefits no-one but those wanting to cream money off the top. Anonymous @2:51am. The idea of a NATIONAL Health Service is that you get economies of scale or buying power. You get best practice from the thousands of expert clinicians across the country. You ensure that the money is spent on healthcare. Handing the cash over to local politicos is a shrewd move by Osbourne, effectively divesting himself of the funding problems. It's NOT a good move for Manchester; it's a very dangerous one.

AnonymousFebruary 27th 2015.

The NHS is a national burocracy not a national health service. Health outcomes are determined not by how much money is thrown at the bureaucracy from the top but by tackling the wider determinants of heath, social, economic and environmental most of which have a strongly spatial dimension which is local rather than national in nature. The NHS has maintained its budget yet it's apparently close to collapse - the current way of administering the thing is clearly broken and so moves to devolve decision making makes manifest good sense. It should be noted, as the BBC point out, that this is devolution to LAs and GP led commissioning groups jointly m.bbc.co.uk/…/health-31661416…

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

Are the NHS trusts not collectively in huge debt? do we get that debt to pay as part of the deal? if its badly run do council tax payers have to pick up the bill in future??

Larry OgdenFebruary 25th 2015.

I was with a friend last night who works in Manchester and lives in Spain. He was brutal about the comparison between NHS and Spanish medicine - perhaps another trip to Barcelona for the council will result in as big a leap forward in Manchester health services as was the case for city redevelopment.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

Works in Manchester and lives in Spain! How?

AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

Yes but can he get a job in impoverished Spain. No of course he cannot. They have 25% unemployment.

Eugene Spain)February 25th 2015.

The best person to be in control of the finances,is a person already au-fait with the financial world,a person admired by his peers,a person admired worldwide for his financial know how and experience,the retiring ex chairman of Goldman Sachs,Mr.Jim O'Neill. Incidentally a look at the Spanish health Service is a good shout.I have lived in Spain since 2004 and i cannot fault the Health system here,it leaves the NHS in the UK for dead. MR JIM O'NEILL for MAYOR.ALSO A PROUD MANCUNIAN. Regards

1 Response: Reply To This...
Poster BoyFebruary 25th 2015.

He's in the box seat as Chair of the Cities Growth Commission and Chair of an advisory board to the AGMA. Whether he would want it, is another thing. Boy George could always confer a knighthood as part of the Golden Hello to membership of the political class...

LuggyFebruary 25th 2015.

" Give em enough rope..

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 25th 2015.

Exactly. The Tories have found a way to make people realise just how bad Labour councils are.

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