PLANS have been discussed which will see a combined effort to improve mental health services around Greater Manchester.
Bolton is one of 10 authorities in the NHS’s first devolved Health and Social Care Partnership.
As part of a partnership, a GM Mental Health and Well-being Strategy has been established to help patients get consistent and simple access to services.
An update on the strategy was presented to members of the Bolton Council Health Overview and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee this week.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Linda Thomas, Bolton Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for health, said: “We are looking at a service which can be developed Greater Manchester (GM) wide.
“It can mean collaborating in some areas or seeing successful schemes developed in Bolton being used as examples in other areas of Greater Manchester. It is mainly about sharing good practice.
“Among the things we talked about was dementia and creating dementia friendly communities.
“It was raised by our members that we are already working very well at becoming a dementia friendly town, with thousands of businesses in Bolton signed up to the dementia friendly initiative.”
As well as dementia friendly services, the partnership is looking into the development of a GM Suicide Prevention Strategy, with “an ambition to reduce suicide rates” in the region, and looking at care for young people.
NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the council is also currently working with NHS Foundation Trust, Health Watch, Bolton Federation and Bolton CVS on the development of a Locality Plan.
It sets out a five-year reformation of social and health care throughout the borough, including mental health services.
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “I am really pleased that the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership is making mental health a priority. This is fully supported by NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group.
“We have invested substantially in improving local mental health services over recent years.
“Stronger partnership working, both within Bolton and across Greater Manchester, will offer further opportunities to improve prevention and access to services.”
The council and CCG are currently awaiting the outcome of a £49.8 million grant application to the Greater Manchester Transformation Fund which will fund the Locality Plan.