The Greater Manchester area will be a ‘trailblazer’ for developing new models of care, and will be one of the first places to access two national transformation funds worth a combined £450m, according to draft proposals that emerged today.

A draft memorandum of understanding drawn up by 10 local councils, 12 clinical commissioning groups, the Treasury and NHS England also suggests a local property company is set up to support the redevelopment of care facilities across the conurbation.

The agreement references the NHS Five Year Forward View, which suggests a limited number of new integrated care models that should be introduced across the NHS. NHS England is currently assessing expressions of interest from areas hoping to be included in the “vanguard” of early adopters.

The draft agreement says: “It is agreed that Greater Manchester will be one of the early implementers and a test bed for new, innovative approaches of delivering new models of integrated health and social care which reflect the needs of local populations.”

It adds that “NHS England’s commitment to devolve funding is explicitly tied to Greater Manchester pushing ahead with the reforms set out in the forward view. The central authority is working… for Greater Manchester to be a trailblazer for the objectives set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.”

There are no details yet about exactly which sites will develop the new care models, or which provider organisations might be involved.

An NHS England spokeswoman said: “The application process for the new models of care sites closed on 9 February and all submissions are currently under review.” 

One of the “overarching principles” set out in the draft memorandum is that working towards “shared outcomes” for health and social care “will drive changes to organisational form where necessary”.

Greater Manchester also appears to be a leading candidate for transition funding. NHS England has two funds at its disposal to pump prime changes to primary care: a £200m “transformation fund” and a £250m “primary care transformational fund”.

The cash will be used to deliver the reforms described in the forward view at an ambitious scale and pace, including investing in facilities and meeting double running costs while new systems are put in place.

According to the draft agreement, the combined authority will now work with NHS England to explore options to “carve out” some of that funding for local use. However, no figure is given for how much of the £450m could be spent in Manchester, or how it might be used.

The draft agreement implies that transformation funding will be allocated to local areas within the Greater Manchester combined authority, and will be attached to “locality plans”. These will have to be approved by the overarching “strategic health and social care partnership”, which represents councils, NHS commissioners and health and care providers across the patch.

“Localities will have clear plans in place supporting the achievement of agreed outcomes and draw down of the NHS England transformation funds,” the draft agreement says.

The five year forward view advocates pump priming, along with “unlocking assets” such as surplus property to support the development of new care models.

Reflecting this, the Greater Manchester agreement states that national funding for estates should be devolved to the combined authority, and that it might be necessary to establish a “Greater Manchester property vehicle” to own and manage the health and care estate.

However, decision making could be more localised within the region. The draft agreement says: “There should be flexibility to retain capital receipts at locality level to support rationalisation and transformation of the estate portfolio and the dual running costs of delivering change.”