Greater Manchester health and social care news

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March news

Sarah Price

Greater Manchester is a “Marmot city region” – what does that mean, and how will it improve our health and reduce inequalities?

A major national report has been published looking at health and inequalities across England.

The report Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On has been published by the UCL Institute of Health Equity. It follows a landmark review in 2010 by Professor Sir Michael Marmot investigating the most effective ways to reduce health inequalities.

In his new report, Sir Michael Marmot finds that the last decade has been marked by deteriorating health and widening inequalities in England.

But a detailed evaluation of plans and initial actions in Greater Manchester shows how local authorities and communities can take positive actions to overcome these challenges.   

Greater Manchester is the country’s first Marmot city region, putting the report’s recommendations into practice by adopting a whole system approach to create a healthier, fairer, more equal society.

Our executive lead for population health and interim chief officer Sarah Price has written about what that means and how it will improve our health and reduce inequalities. 

HIV: Let's tackle this together

A campaign seeking to reduce new transmissions of HIV in Greater Manchester was launched late last month.

It aims to inspire everyone to take steps to help end HIV transmission rates, which are currently higher in Greater Manchester than the national average.

The campaign features images and real-life stories from a broad range of Greater Manchester residents with a simple message: ‘HIV: Let’s sort this together’.

The campaign is encouraging people to take regular HIV tests and manage the possible risks of HIV transmission during sex by focusing on the need to “Test, Manage, Prevent”. 

For people living with HIV, the campaign highlights the fact that effective treatment means that HIV cannot be passed on through sex, a fact now universally recognised as ‘U=U’ (Undetectable = Untransmittable). 

The campaign is being run by the PaSH Partnership (BHA for Equality, George House Trust and LGBT Foundation) on behalf of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

Greater Manchester is part of the Fast-Track Cities network, along with more than 250 other cities around the world who are spearheading the fight against HIV by taking combined action, sharing best practice and tackling HIV related stigma and discrimination.

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Suicide Bereavement Information Service

The phone number for the Greater Manchester Suicide Bereavement Service has changed.

If you need to call the service, please ring 0161 983 0700.

The service provides confidential information for people bereaved or affected by suicide.

The impact of bereavement through suicide can be devastating for family, friends and the community.

The service has been set up to answer questions, whether someone is seeking advice on immediate issues or looking for ongoing support.


It is available to all residents of Greater Manchester or those registered with a GP within the city region.


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“I’ve been a midwife for 40 years and have seen first-hand the problems that smoking causes.”

Christine Bassett

Tobacco specialist midwife Christine Bassett has helped countless expectant mothers in Tameside give up smoking.

Her first-hand experience has taught her just how hard it can be to quit smoking even when faced with something as life changing as a new baby.

Christine has taken the time to share her expertise with us and explain why the Greater Manchester Smokefree Pregnancy programme is so vital.

The efforts being made to help mums-to-be give up smoking were recently recognised by public health minister Jo Churchill when she visited Tameside in February. The minister met with midwives and other health and community figures who are helping local people become exsmokers.

Greater Manchester has seen the rate of women who smoke at the time of birth fall from 12.8% in 2017 to 11.7% in 2018. That’s twice as fast as the national average. 

And figures for the latest quarter have shown another big fall in Greater Manchester, bringing us to within 0.3% of the national average.

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New gynaecological cancer service

Workforce team

A new service for women with gynaecological cancer means survival rates in Greater Manchester – while already some of the best in the country – will continue to improve.

A joint development between Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has seen two teams of gynaecological cancer surgeons join forces to create the largest single gynaecological surgical cancer team in the UK.

In the new service, gynaecological oncology teams are working together to plan care for patients and ensure that all patients have access to the widest range of treatment options, advanced technologies like robotic surgery and access to clinical trials wherever possible.

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Join the Conversation – improving dementia care and support

We’re starting a conversation across Greater Manchester to capture people’s experiences of living with a diagnosis of dementia.

We want to hear about the care and support you’ve received, would like to receive, and what’s made a difference to you. By joining the conversation you can help us to improve local services and make Greater Manchester the best place to live with a diagnosis of dementia.

We’re running a series of workshops across Greater Manchester in March. These are for people living with dementia and those caring for someone who has dementia.

Find out more about the workshops on the Dementia United website.  

If you can’t attend a workshop event but would still like to take part there are short online surveys.

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Appeal for real-life stories about flu

Have you or anyone in your family ever had a serious bout of flu? We are looking for real-life stories to encourage people to get their flu vaccination in preparation for the next campaign in September.

Every year thousands of people young and old across Greater Manchester are floored by flu. Even in less serious cases flu is far worse than a bad cold and takes a couple of weeks to recover from.

And for small children, people with other health conditions like asthma or diabetes, people aged over 65 and pregnant women it can be even worse, leading to hospitalisation and in extreme cases death.

Flu can be prevented by a vaccination that’s free for a lot of people. To encourage more people to have it next year and protect themselves and everyone around them we want to hear from anyone who has been affected by flu in the past.

It could be:

  • That your child picked up flu from nursery or school and it spread to the rest of the family
  • That flu affected your family or someone you care for over the Christmas period, or ruined another special occasion
  • That you or a family member caught flu and experienced complications that led you/them to be hospitalised
  • That you’ve suffered from flu in the past and now make sure you have your vaccination every year.

As a thank you for taking the time to speak to us we are offering a £75 high street voucher, or a £75 charity donation, for every story used in the campaign.

Interested in telling your flu story? Contact Nicola Appleby,, at the earliest opportunity for further details.


The schoolgirl who’s fighting flu

Flu fighting dolls

The end of winter may be in sight, but we’d like to share the story of a remarkable school girl who took it upon herself to promote the flu vaccine to her classmates, friends and family.

Nine-year-old Kate Cooper Jones wrote to Manchester Health & Care Commissioning to let them know what she’d been up to and share her colourful artwork.

Read on to find out what inspired Kate and the difference she made to those closest to her.

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No smoking day - 11 March

No Smoking Day is set to take place on 11 March. So, if you’re a smoker it’s an ideal time to stop.

We all know smoking is harmful to our health. But did you know smoking kills 1 in 2 long-term smokers?

In Greater Manchester alone 4,500 adults will die this year from a smoking related death.

That’s 4,500 too many.

But the good news is stopping smoking is the single best thing a smoker can do for their health. And it’s never too late to quit.

Information on how you can stop smoking


Coronavirus advice

If you’re concerned about coronavirus, or you just want some more information — make sure you’re getting it from a reputable source.  Visit the NHS website  for all the latest updates. 

Help prevent coronavirus  spreading: Wash your hands more than usual, for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser. Especially when you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, or eat and handle food.


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