Greater Manchester’s population is less healthy and happy than the average person in the UK. But that presents the region with an opportunity, argues Sarah Howard.
The findings from the Vibrant Economy Index that show Greater Manchester’s population is less healthy and happy than the average person in the UK may appear alarming, but they don’t tell the whole picture.
We’re all familiar with statistics pointing to varying health outcomes across Greater Manchester. But what these don’t tell us is the progress that is being made. It is home to trail-blazing businesses that put employee wellbeing at the core, a centre of world-class technological innovation, and is leading the way with a devolved healthcare budget of £6 billion to unlock the potential of health and social care integration.
Why creating a Manchester where people are happy and healthy is important
Economic growth is not the only thing that will make our region future-proof. Creating economic growth and prosperity is important, but so too is creating a Greater Manchester where people feel happy and healthy, as well as promoting inclusion, equality and a sense of belonging in communities so that people as well as businesses can thrive.
New organisations such as Health Innovation Manchester have been launched to speed up the discovery, development and delivery of solutions to help improve health in our region.
But it’s not just about the city and institutions. Devolution provides a great opportunity for deeper collaboration – people across the city and beyond coming together to share ideas and innovate, to feel part of the journey and shape our future together.
An opportunity for Manchester to lead on health
That's why we're hosting an inquiry in the city this month to bring together citizens, influencers, business leaders and creative minds from across the region to help answer the question: How do we all mobilise Greater Manchester to pioneer world class health? By getting these people together to address this question, we hope to be able to build on the foundation the region already has in place to make it an even happier and healthier place to live and work.
For more information on the Vibrant Economy Index, visit the dedicated online hub.