As the world prepares for Rio 2016, Team ‘GM’ is limbering up and getting ready to make a move on physical inactivity and the damaging impact it has on the region.
It is estimated that physical inactivity currently causes one in six deaths in Greater Manchester and costs the health service £26.7m per year through related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Tackling this growing problem, which is preventable through an increase in activity, is to become a priority across Greater Manchester with key players from the public sector joining forces with Sport England in a new partnership to benefit the health, social and economic outcomes of the area.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the NHS in Greater Manchester (this includes the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership – the body overseeing devolution) and Sport England will today sign a commitment to help people make sport and physical activity a part of daily life to help reduce stress, ill health, absenteeism and help prevent loneliness.
The partnership wants to encourage a mindset where people are seen as individuals – or customers – whose needs must be understood to tackle the barriers they face to getting more active. This in turn will help with the ambition to deliver the greatest and fastest possible improvement to the health and wellbeing of the 2.8m people of Greater Manchester.
By sharing research, experience and expertise, the partnership aims to see empowered neighbourhoods able to take more control of their own health and activity levels.
Early priorities for consideration include:
- Building more sport and activity into the next phase of the region’s Work and Health programme;
- Making sport and activity more accessible to people with learning difficulties;
- Collaborating with the Centre for Ageing on fitness in later years;
- Incorporating sport and physical activity into care for people with long-term conditions by working with two NHS Vanguard sites in Salford and Stockport;
- Devising social strategies to get Greater Manchester moving and more active.
Lord Peter Smith, Chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board, said: “The evidence base for encouraging more sport and physical activity is compelling.
“Around a third of our residents are classed as inactive – which means doing less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. And research shows that inactivity is a major contributor to poor health outcomes and early deaths. This is a preventable situation – and making small changes can have major positive results.”
Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England, said: “We know that being active has enormous physical and social benefits, especially for people who go from doing nothing to doing something. It’s one of the many reasons Sport England is so focused on tackling inactivity.
“Our partners in Greater Manchester see it the same way. We are committed to working together, to learning from each other and to listening to people in Manchester to understand more about what would help them get active.
“Greater Manchester’s devolution agreement with the government, including responsibility for health and social care, makes them a powerful partner for Sport England, and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Tracey Vell, GP and Chair of the Association of Greater Manchester’s Local Medical Committees, said: “There is a whole group of people in Greater Manchester, who know they need to move more, but don’t want to feel like sport or being active is being imposed on them. For this group it’s essential to find a way of being active that doesn’t feel like exercise and which they feel comfortable with.
“Take a football supporter who can be linked with other fans to walk to the match. That physical activity is ‘hidden’ behind a much greater experience for that football fan. This is the sort of model we need to create on a much bigger scale in Greater Manchester.”
Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Interim Mayor, said: “Greater Manchester is known across the world as an international sporting destination. With our football teams, cycling stars and world class facilities there aren’t many places that can compete with GM. Now we want to help every one of our residents to be included, get active and feel the benefits of improved fitness.
“Working together with partners across GM, our Team GM approach will mean that this effort to help people become more active is put at the heart of our health and social care agenda.”
The move comes in the wake of survey results from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership who asked residents a range of questions about activity – and found that more than half of all residents wanted to be more active. New research from the Taking Charge Together survey, which suggests that the majority of people in Greater Manchester are aware of how important it is to exercise and eat well but struggle to put that knowledge into practice, is available in full via www.gmhsc.org.uk and www.takingchargetogether.org.uk
On Friday 29 July, the partnership involved in this new agreement will further boost their sporting credentials by signing a Memorandum of Understanding at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Strategic Partnership Board meeting.
For more information, contact:
Rob Meaden | Communications and Engagement Manager
Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership is the body made up of the 37 NHS organisations and councils in the city region, which is overseeing devolution and taking charge of the £6bn health and social care budget.
Governed by the Health and Social Care Partnership Board, which meets in public each month, the Partnership comprises the 37 local authorities and NHS organisations in Greater Manchester, plus representatives from primary care, NHS England, the community and voluntary sectors, Healthwatch, Greater Manchester Police and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
The Strategic Partnership Board Executive, which represents the full Partnership, reviews work streams and makes recommendations to enable the Strategic Partnership Board to make effective decisions.