Greater Manchester mayoral candidate Andy Burnham discussed the future of health and social care across the region when he visited the University of Salford.
The Leigh MP, who has served as both Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, provided an insight into the issues surrounding health and social care when he spoke to staff and students at the University’s Mary Seacole Building on Friday March 17.
As well as meeting senior staff from the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery Social Care and Social Sciences, he spoke to more than 100 students currently working in senior positions across the health service and training to become advanced practitioners – a role designed to modernise the NHS and help improve services for patients.
Many of these professionals, currently working in a wide range of roles such as nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians and paramedics, will qualify as advanced practitioners later this year.
Andy Burnham, who is bidding to become Greater Manchester’s first elected mayor – responsible for a budget overseeing health and social care – listened to their views and spoke to them about the issues currently affecting health and social care across the region.
Speaking after the event, he said: “Advanced practitioners have a crucial role to play within the NHS, as managing multi-disciplinary teams requires a significant level of expertise. If more care is to be delivered outside the clinical setting you need people with the knowledge and skills to understand people’s needs and make sure they’re properly looked after.”
Margaret Rowe, Dean of the University’s School of Nursing Midwifery Social Care and Social Services, said: “Advanced practitioners increasingly play an essential role within health and social care services as departments face huge challenges with shrinking budgets and an ageing population. They are also pivotal within the NHS as patients with multiple complex needs require expert care from innovate trailblazing clinicians.
“These students will need to have an in-depth knowledge of the political issues surrounding the complex decisions they will have to make, so being able to listen first hand to a former Health Secretary provided them with an important insight.
“The University of Salford is the largest trainer of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in the North West and we also train a large number of healthcare professionals who want to become advanced practitioners, so it was important that he came here to listen to their views.”