A group of people on a stage accepting an award.

Colleagues working in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) Local Care Organisation have been crowned winners in the prestigious Health Service Journal awards in the category Integrated Care Initiative of the Year.

The award is for putting communities at the heart of decision making.

HMR’s Local Care Organisation involves numerous organisations working closely together. Organisations include primary care, hospital services, mental health services, social care, community, voluntary sectors and wider public services, e.g. housing.

Residents in HMR are benefitting from better outcomes. This is all thanks to this integrated way of working, which is helping to improve the lives of local communities.

Integration has helped contribute to a sustained reduction in A&E attendances and hospital admissions. This means care can be provided closer to home, keeping people out of hospital.


Steve Taylor, Chief Officer at Rochdale Infirmary, which is part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA), and the HMR Local Care Organisation, said: “We are not afraid to challenge ourselves and work beyond traditional team and organisational boundaries to improve the health of our local population.

“We’ve enabled a system that thinks together, solves problems together and learns together.

“It’s not just about the structure though; it’s our people who make the difference. We are working hard to maintain a culture where we all have the courage to innovate and drive change for the better.”

Maddy Hubbard, Rochdale director of charity Action Together, said “I’m so proud to be part of the integrated system in HMR with the voluntary sector being recognised as an equal partner in the team. This is testament to the amazing work of our voluntary sector. It focusses on the work we have done to develop different relationships with our communities to put them at the heart of what we do.”

Councillor Daalat Ali, the council’s cabinet member for health, said: “I am delighted our innovative delivery of health and care has been recognised in this way. Integration is at the heart of our drive to reduce health inequalities, ensuring people can access high-quality health and care services in their community. This award is testament to our health and care teams and their dedicated work, day in day out, to support and care for our residents.”

Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of Rochdale Council and NHS place lead for HMR, said: “I am delighted that our integrated ways of working in HMR have been recognised by the HSJ Awards. At present financial and demand pressures in the system across health and care are enormous and can disrupt innovation and drive organisations back into silo working.

“In HMR we’ve developed such a strong culture of ‘place’ that as system pressures rise, we are not driven apart but instinctively come closer together. Our workforce is top class and knows the value of ‘place’ and working together to deliver for our communities.”

Highly commended

HSJ Awards shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements from health and care systems across the UK.

  • The work of the NCA in partnership with Greater Manchester Integrated Care to get local people into employment was highly commended in the category of Workforce Initiative of the Year at the awards.

The teams were involved in hosting a series of special events aimed at giving local job seekers the opportunity to explore a wide range of health and care opportunities.

The events, which ran across the NCA footprint in Bury, Oldham, Salford and Rochdale, saw more than 1,000 local people attend. They learned more about working in the NHS and it gave them chance to explore the variety of employment opportunities available.

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