The Bolton Plan
On 1 April 2016, Greater Manchester became the first region in the country to take control of its combined health and social care budgets – a sum of more than £6 billion each year. The devolution of health and social care means that more decisions about Greater Manchester will be made here, instead of at a national level.
The Greater Manchester Strategic Plan sets out a five year vision for health and social care services across the region. Each area in Greater Manchester was asked to produce its own plan that would feed into this high level strategic plan.
Bolton’s plan is all about ensuring that we have effective and sustainable health and care services in the future, as well as a happier and healthier population. It was produced jointly by NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Bolton Council, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, alongside voluntary and community sector partners.
These are challenging times for health and social care in Bolton. There is increasing pressure on essential local services and the cost of running them is going up and up each year as more people need extra help and support to stay well. If we continue doing things in just the same way as we are now, by 2020 there will be a gap of £83 million between the cost of health and care and the money we have available to spend.
Following the submission of a bid last year, Bolton will receive £28.8 million from the Greater Manchester Transformation Fund. This will allow us to make the ambitious changes we need to make our health and social care system fit for the future.
We plan to change the way health and social care is delivered so patients receive more of their care in the community and make fewer visits to hospital. To support this shift, we will invest in and further develop our community services to expand current provision. These services will help prevent people being admitted to hospital, by providing extra support before they become very unwell. We will focus on those who have the greatest need for help and support, to stay healthy and independent.
Patients will still be able to see a specialist (for example following a GP referral) if they need to but they may not need to go to the hospital. Specialist teams will be seeing patients in the community.
Mental health, not just physical health, is a big priority. We want to improve mental health and wellbeing for everyone, as well as supporting those who are recovering from illness. This means high quality services and improved access to talking therapies and crisis care. As far as possible, we want mental health care to be provided in the community, but beds will be available for those who need them.
More broadly, a greater concentration on preventing ill health will mean more screening, vaccinations, and more help to lead a healthier lifestyle such as stopping smoking or losing weight.
Put simply, we want everyone in Bolton to live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
To make the changes we’ve planned, services will need to work in a more joined up way with organisation working together much more closely. This is all about focusing on the patient – not which organisation is providing the service.
Over the coming years, the Bolton Partnership will be working to deliver significant changes to health and social care in Bolton. We’ll update Bolton people along the way and keep asking for your views, ideas and feedback.