HEALTH chiefs from across Greater Manchester are set to sign a historic deal to pool the region’s public health cash.

Today bosses will sign an agreement – part of the Greater Manchester health and care devolution deal – to create a single public health leadership for the whole of the region.

Representatives from Public Health England, NHS England and Greater Manchester’s councils, NHS providers and blue light services are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Manchester Town Hall today.

The unique deal will pool cash for 28 screening and immunisation programmes, public health services for children, babies and prisoners, and sexual assault services.

Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)’s lead for health, said he hoped the plans would “reduce duplication”.

He added: “This move is even more momentous because it is giving power to Greater Manchester people to shape their own futures, which is a key part of the Greater Manchester Strategy.

“We are now able to have local control over local needs while working with our national colleagues in public health and NHS England.

This is a first in the country and all eyes will be on Greater Manchester as we start this powerful alliance.”

Early work of the MoU will target vascular disease, alcohol abuse, increasing uptake of health checks and integrating the emergency services into healthcare.

It will see plans put in place to increase dementia awareness, encourage more people to increase their physical activity, offer early help to disadvantaged teenage parents and help people to stay in work after illness.

The move could also see one director of public health created for the whole of Greater Manchester, rather than each council having their own.

The agreement is part of the Greater Manchester Health and Care devolution deal, which was announced in February, and will be funded through current public health allocations.

Health bosses hope the changes will make Greater Manchester healthier, happier and more prosperous by placing more emphasis on prevention and intervention.

Evidence of the link between health and the economy will be presented by chiefs as part of a joint submission to the Spending Review this autumn.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: “Good health and economic development and prosperity are inseparable.

“Wellbeing happens when local people benefit from that prosperity.

“This agreement recognises that local ownership and leadership can achieve more, faster in closing the gaps in life expectancy, and life in good health, between those with the most and the least.

“This agreement puts prevention and the local citizen at the centre of everything that devolution should deliver.”