Latest news from the Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Networks

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May 2022

Meeting graphic


Helping networks thrive


As another month goes by, our networks move closer to returning to some sort of normality, following the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Earlier this month, our Cardiovascular Network met face-to-face for the first time in its current form, with clinicians and our support team finally discussing their fantastic work around a table.

We have been fortunate to have been able to join virtual meetings since Covid arrived, and it will be important we continue to use this technology in future, but networks thrive on people meeting and talking and we look forward to seeing more of these discussions and the re-start of our events in the coming months.

Also in this newsletter you will read about our Respiratory Network launching a new campaign to promote pulmonary rehabilitation programmes, the latest appointment to the Greater Manchester Neurorehabilitation and Stroke Delivery Network, a reminder about long Covid communications, World Asthma Day and Dying Matters Awareness Week, as well as a thought-provoking blog.


Best wishes

Julie Cheetham - Director 

Dr Peter Elton - Clinical director 

Julie Cheetham and Peter Elton

Cardiovascular Network


The Cardiovascular Network is required to give half of its time to prevention. To discuss this challenge, it had its first face-to-face meeting this month since the arrival of Covid-19.  

Dr Shahed Ahmad, national director of cardiovascular disease prevention, and Dr Manisha Kumar, chief medical director for NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board, urged us to embrace this new emphasis on prevention. 

The clinicians recognise the need to continue their great collaboration in many areas of clinical work, including heart failure, heart valve disease, acute coronary syndrome and stable chest pain, while paying more attention to prevention.

There is plenty of potential including improving rates of detection of hypertension, further adoption of the CURE programme to reduce smoking and increasing physical activity partly through cardiac rehabilitation.

Dr Farzin Fath-Ordoubadi, the Network’s clinical lead, said “Over the last 12 months, the SCN Cardiac Network has been expanding to help deliver the national and GM priorities for cardiac including the targets for the Long Term Plan and GIRFT recommendations.  

“At this forum, the associates update each other with their pathway group projects and drive the network policies and workstreams. This key leadership forum is the engine of the SCN Cardiac Network championing and driving the agenda to improve the quality of care and patient outcome.  

“It was great to see the team face-to-face and discuss our future plans.”

The Network's new clinical lead for prevention, Dr Aseem Mishra (pictured above left), produced a video of his presentation to the meeting, called 'Doing more with less (the P-word)', after the packed agenda meant they ran out of time to hear it. Watch it here

Clinical workstream lead for cardiac logistics

The cardiovascular team has launched a new diagnostics project, which will be integrated within all pathways in GM cardiac work.

Dr Keith Pearce, lead consultant cardiac scientist, has been appointed as the new clinical workstream lead for cardiac diagnostics. The inaugural meeting was held at the end of April and planning for the future has begun.


GM Neurorehabilitation and Integrated Stroke Delivery Network


The network continues to grow and develop following the merger between the stroke and neurorehabilitation networks in October 2021.

New project management roles have been appointed in the form of facilitators, all of whom have clinical backgrounds spanning a range of professions.

Clinical leadership has been strengthened to ensure there is expertise across the care pathways, with recent appointments for psychology and CVD prevention.

Dr Janice MacKenzie (pictured above) is a consultant clinical psychologist with the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust and will start in July to help lead this programme of work.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, the network has also jointly appointed, with the SCN’s cardiac programme, GP Dr Aseem Mishra, who will support both teams in developing a strategy and projects that tie in with regional/national system plans for this importance area. 

The team is in very much in the “forming” phase of development but are now sufficiently resourced to take forward an ambitious programme of projects.

You can find out more here and follow the network on Twitter @GMNISDN.


Respiratory Network

The Network will soon be launching a new campaign to promote the pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programme in GM.

Working with PR teams across GM, the project will aim to increase the number of patients taking part in the programme, reduce inappropriate referrals and address health inequalities.

The Network formed the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Collaborative in 2021 to increase improvement in the provision of structured education and exercise.

It is made up of PR teams from all 10 GM localities and the group is contributing towards the development of the campaign.

One of the initiatives being worked on is the rebranding of PR. The objectives include increasing the number of patients who take part in the programme, reducing inappropriate referrals and addressing health inequalities. There is now a new name for the programme, ‘Keep active, breathe better’, and a design company called C21 will deliver a video, website, leaflet and social media promotion.

Patients and health professionals have been recruited for the video, who will promote the benefits of PR and improve information and reassurance about services for patients.

The video will be shot at different locations with human interest storylines around the theme of “moments that matter”. The website will host the video and provide PR information with a specific page for health professionals advising on appropriate referral and patient pages explaining what PR is and detailing services available.

The accessible website will be available in 70 languages and the social media promotion to GPs/referrers will include a new easily recognisable logo which will appear on all communication channels to unite GM services.

The video, website and social media promotion is expected to be ready for the end of July and will be followed by a launch event later in the summer.

Keep updated on long Covid developments

The Respiratory Network leads on initiatives which are designed to keep clinicians and other health professionals informed on how they can care for patients with long Covid.

A monthly email keeps clinicians and other professionals up-to-date on long Covid news and developments in GM, with the aim of supporting patients who are living with the effects of the condition.

If you would like to join our mailing list, please email

The GM Covid-19 Recovery Peer Support Group meets online at 6pm on Wednesdays.

The group brings people together with shared experiences to support each other and helps inform health and social care services about what support and services are needed for people living with the long term effects of Covid.

For further information and joining details, please click here.


Children and Young People Network

Asthma Day tweets

Our Children and Young People Network joined clinicians across GM to help mark World Asthma Day 2022.

The annual day is organised by Global Initiative for Asthma, a World Health Organisation collaborative, to raise awareness of the condition worldwide, and the team posted social media to raise awareness of self-management and work being carried out in the region.

The theme for this year was 'Closing Gaps in Asthma Care'.

The Network thanks children’s community nursing teams and asthma specialist nurses in Greater Manchester who held education awareness sessions for staff, children and young people and families in local community centres, libraries, hospitals and schools and also held a live session on Facebook. They also want to say a massive thank you to six of their GP children and young people clinical leads across GM, and their clinical lead Dr Wan-Ley Yeung, who volunteered and took part in a short video. 

As well as Dr Yeung, the other participants were Dr Connie Chen (Manchester), Dr Helen Wall (Bolton), Dr Jayne Davies (Wigan), Dr Christine Ahmed (Tameside) and Dr Deborah Pole (Trafford).

The clinical advisor for asthma, Dr Kalpesh Dixit, also produced a video for social media.

Throughout the day, content was shared across the SCNs’ Twitter account and Facebook page to raise awareness of the events taking place, and post pictures and information of the work that is being undertaken. There were thousands of interactions with the posts.

Colleagues across GM also undertook some fantastic work in their localities to raise the profile of asthma for children and young people and their families. If you would like to see social media relating to the day, please search the following hashtags #WorldAstmaDay2022 and #WorldAsthmaDayGM.

Pictured above: photos from social media on World Asthma Day 2022.

Championing game changing interventions

Peter Elton


In his latest blog, our clinical director, Dr Peter Elton, pictured right, writes about examples of evidence in health not being implemented after many years.


"Pavarotti singing, as a tenor, nine consecutive high Cs in Donizetti’s La fille du regiment to convert an aria previously sang by falsettos; Jacqueline du Pre rawly emotional rendition of Elgar’s cello concerto that reduced Barbirolli to tears; and the use of Saint-Saens organ concerto in the 1995 film, Babe all transformed existing works into iconic pieces.

Similarly, in health, James Lind, as a result of the first randomised controlled trial on British navy ships found oranges and lemons eradicated scurvy; John Snow stopped an outbreak of cholera by removing the Broad Street pump; and Semmelweis discovered that you could reduce the number of cases of puerperal fever if you washed your hands after being in the dissecting room and before helping women to give birth. It was many years later that these breakthroughs transformed practice and, for Semmelweis, after dying in a lunatic asylum after accusing his colleagues of being murderers for not taking his advice. 

There are still examples of evidence not being implemented after many years.  We do not offer long-acting naltrexone to prisoners on release to prevent relapse after they have achieved abstinence in prison; we do not offer the Muslim community screening for thalassaemia trait to guide marriage arrangement; and we do not offer the benefits of the quad pill for hypertension, recently demonstrated in a randomised controlled trial, based on evidence from over a decade ago .

Clinicians in the networks will inevitably concentrate on formulating strategies and developing pathways.  This is entirely consistent with identifying and championing game changing interventions. We will all benefit if we shed light on such neglected interventions."


New eating disorder guidelines published - MEED

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has just issued new guidance to treat eating disorders.

The aim of the guidance is to make preventable deaths due to eating disorders a thing of the past.

The guide addresses eating disorder presentations likely to lead the patient to an emergency department or a medical/paediatric ward, with the emphasis on medical management, meaning both physical and psychiatric care.

You can read the latest guidance here.


Diabetes Network

Diabetes workshop

In response to the higher risk of diabetes faced by people who are deaf, the Diabetes Network recently coordinated and delivered an awareness raising event at the Manchester Deaf Centre in conjunction with Diabetes UK and Healthwatch Manchester.

Within GM, there are over 12,300 adults registered as deaf or hard of hearing, but nearly half a million people in the same area experience some form of hearing loss.

The workshop highlighted that people from the deaf community are more likely to be at risk of developing diabetes due to factors including a lack of access to information and not being able to access public health messaging on radio, TV or participate in community conversations about healthy lifestyle choices. It also highlighted some of the common challenges the community face when accessing health services.

The session aimed to support the deaf community to better understand the risks for developing diabetes, highlight the signs and symptoms of diabetes and emphasise the importance of good self-management in people with diabetes.

Feedback from the attendees was positive, attendees stated the session was useful and interesting and they learnt something new.


Palliative & End of Life Care Network

bereavement bookcase

Although Dying Matters Awareness Week has been and gone for another year, the focus continues on encouraging people to talk about death and bereavement.

As part of an initiative from Hospice UK called 'death positive libraries', Rochdale Libraries are planning to place bereavement bookcases at each of their venues with books and information to help signpost people to support (pictured left is one already in place at Heywood Library).

Rochdale libraries staff also supported Dying Matters Awareness Week this year by choosing what songs they would like to have played at their funeral/memorial. You can see people's choices here

They are currently looking at joint working with local hospices and charities to see what the needs are in the Rochdale community and to potentially facilitate support for groups at their libraries.

The new initiative acknowledges libraries are democratic spaces that are used by all walks of life that often have community spaces where end of life and bereavement conversations can happen. Find out more about death positive libraries.

Hospice UK is developing a toolkit for libraries which is being produced in collaboration with Cruse, the bereavement charity.

Other areas in Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire have already joined in the initiative. In Manchester, Dying Matters events took place in libraries and after a session at Longsight library the Palliative and End of Life team has been asked to present to the South Asian Carers Group the importance of advance care planning.  

The team will also be highlighting this fantastic work at all appropriate meetings to help professionals engage with all libraries in Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire.

Dying Matters week tweet


Staff news

Zoe Neilson

This month we say goodbye to Zoe Neilson (pictured right), project officer for our Maternity Network, who is taking up a secondment with the population health team as a project manager for Healthy Weight.

She joined us three years ago and has been involved in some important pieces of work with the team.

Zoe has a strong background in nutrition having worked as a team lead for the Redbridge Healthy Eating Team at the North East London Trust.

We thank Zoe for her hard work and wish her well on her secondment. All the team will miss her. 


See our website for more information on all our networks.