Professor Bola Owolabi, NHS England’s health inequalities lead and GP, paid a visit to Rochdale, where she met with Heywood, Middleton, and Rochdale (HMR) health and care system leaders.
She was taken on a tour of Rochdale Infirmary, and this was followed by presentations about HMR’s integration work and the development of HMR Local Care Organisation (HMR LCO).
The team then shared with Professor Owolabi the work HMR is doing to address health and care inequalities through working together.
Colleagues shared feedback on research being undertaken to help deepen the understanding of health and care inequalities experienced by many of our population.
Professor Owolabi also took part in a roundtable discussion exploring the benefit of integration to patients and the important role that our voluntary sector has in promoting health and wellbeing.
At the roundtable discussion there were colleagues from Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, HMR Integrated Care Partnership, Rochdale Borough Council, Action Together, Pennine Care Foundation Trust, public health, and primary care.
A visit was also made to Middleton Primary Care Network (PCN) hub where she met with the team and the Middleton social prescribing link workers. She enjoyed a discussion with them on the importance of their role in supporting patients through a wide range of issues such as housing and mental health.
Steve Taylor, chief officer, Rochdale Care Organisation and HMR LCO, said:
“It was a pleasure to have Professor Owolabi visit and meet our health and care teams. Throughout the visit the level of joined up working, innovation, and the desire to have a positive impact for our population shone through from everyone she met. We intend to keep our links with Professor Owolabi as her national role and her expertise will be incredibly helpful to our health and care system development.”
Professor Bola Owolabi, said:
“It was fantastic to visit Rochdale Infirmary and meet colleagues giving their very best to serve their local population despite the many challenges we are currently facing. I saw enabling leadership, creative ways of working and a joined-up approach that is really making a difference. Rochdale is an excellent example of what healthcare systems all over the country should be looking to achieve.”