By Dr Wirin Bhatiani
A few weeks ago I wrote about how neighbourhoods and communities can play a major part in the health and wellbeing of our residents.
I highlighted how in Bolton it is our intention to involve people in communities with the changes to health and care across the town.
This approach stems from the devolution of health and care budgets and decisions to Greater Manchester in the first instance, and then to the 10 localities within our region.
It was nice therefore, for the people who are working hard to develop these new ways of working to host a visit by the chief officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP), Jon Rouse, recently.
He wanted to meet people who are working in communities, to hear what they think about integration and how they can make a difference to the lives of our residents.
Mr Rouse met a range of teams, including those who are involved in helping to prevent people from having to stay in hospital, when they could be cared for in their own home, to those who work with families to ensure they are making healthy choices for their young children.
He also heard about the work of Bolton Community and Voluntary Services (CVS), and the Peer Navigator scheme run by Bolton at Home, which enables local residents to work with their neighbours, encouraging them to take positive action to improve their health and wellbeing, activity and education/employment.
And finally, he visited a local GP practice to meet some of the musculoskeletal practitioners, clinical pharmacists, mental health practitioners and health improvement practitioners.
The visit, hosted by the Chief Executive of Bolton FT Jackie Bene, on behalf of all partners, reflected just some of the achievements made since devolution in 2016, and I hope Mr Rouse left with lots of positive vibes from Bolton.