This April marks 76 years of the World Health Organization (WHO).  In 1948, countries of the world came together and founded WHO to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.  

During this time, Greater Manchester has been pioneering research to innovative public health facilities and has led the way with impacting the UK and beyond. Here we celebrate some of these great achievements. 


Alan Turing’s Pioneering of AI 

Alan Turing’s ground-breaking ideas laid the foundation for modern AI research and continues to shape the field today. He first addressed the issue of artificial intelligence whilst at The University of Manchester in a famous paper entitled ‘Computer Machinery and Intelligence’. Turing's legacy is deeply intertwined with Manchester's rich history of technological innovation, underscoring the city region’s influence on the development of AI and computing technologies, which are now playing a growing role in the world’s health scene. 


Trafford General Hospital – ‘Birthplace of the NHS’ 

Greater Manchester is known as the birthplace of the National Health Service (NHS). On July 5, 1948, Trafford General Hospital became the first NHS hospital to open its doors to patients. This momentous occasion symbolized a transformative shift towards universal healthcare provision, where medical treatment would be accessible to all, regardless of their socioeconomic status. The establishment of the NHS at Trafford General Hospital laid the cornerstone for a nationwide healthcare system.   


Revolutionary Research in Breast Cancer 

Manchester researchers have developed new approaches to endocrine therapy that has revolutionised breast cancer treatment worldwide. Developments in the 1900s in Manchester led to clinical trials showing how specific drugs were effective in women with advanced breast cancer. Furthermore, in the 1970s a significant breakthrough was achieved using Tamoxifen - a drug that meant the cancer grew more slowly or stopped growing altogether.  


The Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership in Manchester (MCIP) 

The Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership in Manchester (MCIP) - in collaboration with the lung cancer team at the University Hospital of South Manchester - established a new pilot service to detect lung cancer earlier in people living in some of Manchester’s most deprived areas. Manchester Health and Care Commissioning has agreed to provide £4 million of NHS funding to roll out the service in North Manchester.


Manchester becomes first UK city to join the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities  

Manchester’s ageing programme is called Age Friendly Manchester (AFM) and was launched in 2003. The city-region has made a commitment to becoming more age friendly allowing its citizens to remain independent and maintain good health, whilst having access to healthy, good quality employment. 


The first UK city to have devolved control of its budget 

As the UK's first city-region with control over its £6 billion health and social care budget, Manchester has set up a faster system for adopting new health ideas. Health Innovation Manchester leads this effort to bring new solutions quickly to its 11.8 million residents. This offers a big chance for life science companies. Manchester is also leading in digital healthcare, becoming home to the first fully digital NHS Trust. 


Greater Manchester has seen considerable advances in life sciences and alongside WHO, has had a significant impact on public healthcare. From pioneering research to initiatives like the NHS, Manchester's legacy continues to grow.  


Click to learn more about the latest developments in Manchester’s Life Sciences sector ➡️ Life Science and Healthcare (