Greater Manchester has appointed a director of population health transformation to oversee the public health directors employed in the 10 authorities that make up the city region.
In a further step on the path towards Greater Manchester’s authorities taking control of the region’s £6bn NHS and social care budget from April next year, the post has been awarded to Bolton MBC’s director of public health Wendy Meredith.
Ms Meredith, who also chairs the Greater Manchester directors of public health group, will work with key figures at Public Health England, NHS England, emergency services, as well as the 10 council leaders on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Ian Williamson, chief officer of Greater Manchester health and social care devolution, called Ms Meredith’s appointment “the latest major milestone in the process of devolving control over health and social care” to the region.
“This appointment is central to a new joined-up way of working and ensures public health continues to play an integral role in the process of devolution,” he said.
Lord Peter Smith (Lab), Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s lead for health and Wigan MBC leader, said: “If we are to develop a more successful healthcare system for Greater Manchester’s 2.8 million residents, we will need much greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention. Wendy’s role will be crucial working with individuals, families and communities to take better care of their own health.”
Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie said Ms Meredith’s role would be “pivotal” to keeping the region focused on improving the health and wellbeing of its people.
Ms Meredith started her career in the NHS in 1983, working as a radiographer in Salford and Manchester. She has been Bolton’s director of public health for the last three years.