Health Management Group

Devolving health and social care: learning from Greater Manchester

Funding Body: The Health Foundation and NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester

Project Overview: 

Our aim is to work alongside policymakers, system leaders and stakeholders to contribute to the development and evaluation of health and social care devolution in Greater Manchester, and to support the sharing of learning regionally and nationally from this exciting experiment in Greater Manchester.    There is great interest in the wider questions of whether devolving health and social care to English regions is worthwhile and what insights can be gained from Manchester’s experience to benefit and inform other areas and national policymakers.
Given the emergent and developing nature of the health and social care devolution process, we propose a formative and flexible evaluation design with frequent opportunities for feedback and discussion both within Greater Manchester and at a national level.  We recognise the sensitivities and challenges for all involved.  We also seek to provide a baseline for the longer term evaluation of the changes which come about through health and social care devolution and their impact on services and service users.
The central aims of the project are to understand the policy development and the policy process, to describe and analyse governance, accountability and organizational forms, and to map and model changes and impacts to services and service users. The research will use a range of methods to address the research questions, but central to the approach will be in-depth qualitative data collection. A quantitative understanding of the financial challenges that Greater Manchester faces in health and social care and their principal drivers, and estimates that have been made of wider health and economic impact will also be gained through the study.
The project is funded jointly by the Health Foundation and the NIHR CLAHRC. The National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) Greater Manchester is a partnership between providers and commissioners from the NHS, industry, the third sector and the University of Manchester. The NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester aims to improve the health of people in Greater Manchester and beyond through carrying out research and putting it into practice.
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Oct 2015- Sept 2017

Professor Kieran Walshe, Professor Ruth McDonald, Dr Anna Coleman, Professor Kath Checkland, Professor Matt Sutton, Professor David Challis, Professor Julien Forder and Katy Rothwell


Walshe et al (2016). Health and Social Devolution: the Greater Manchester experiment, BMJ


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