Greater Manchester helps support Our Future Health

News – 14 February 2023
The residents of Greater Manchester are already playing a key role in Our Future Health’s new research programme by joining in their thousands.

The residents of Greater Manchester are already playing a key role in Our Future Health’s new research programme by joining in their thousands.

Since our launch in the region in November 2022, tens of thousands of volunteers have visited our local clinics to take part. These clinics include our fixed sites in Oldham and Manchester, which opened in shopping centres in November. They have seen a steady flow of volunteers book appointments in the months since.

Later in the year, the first of our mobile clinics rolled into shopping centre car parks in the region, proving immediately popular due to their convenient location and free parking. Our Greater Manchester mobile hubs have so far visited Rochdale, Wigan and Bolton.

In addition to these clinics, we’re supported by Boots Pharmacy, boosting access for locals to book appointments at some of its stores in the region.

The result is that Greater Manchester residents have signed up in huge swathes, showing such eagerness to get involved with Our Future Health’s research that appointment slots across the region have filled up quickly.

With the news that the number of volunteers hit 250,000 in February 2023, it’s clear that this is just the beginning of Greater Manchester playing a vital role in shaping Our Future Health’s research

Greater Manchester organisations helping to shape the future of healthcare

We’re building on this great start as we continue into 2023. Local stakeholders and care providers are helping us to establish and promote our programme, which aims to create one of the most detailed pictures ever of the UK’s health.

Greater Manchester has a sophisticated and well-developed health and research community and we’re continuing to talk to experts from a raft of organisations in the region, including NHS and integrated care board leaders, clinicians, researchers, community leaders and councils.

During our conversations, we’ve heard how Greater Manchester’s health remains poorer than the UK average, with higher than average rates of heart disease and cancer. More than two-thirds of early deaths in the region are linked to factors including smoking, alcohol dependency, poor diet and air pollution. The resource that we’re building together will help determine how to reduce inequalities by discovering better ways of tackling disease across local communities.

Professor Will Dixon, Professor of Digital Epidemiology, Director of the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis at the University of Manchester and an honorary consultant rheumatologist at Salford Royal Hospital, said:

“The people of Manchester never fail to deliver, and they are coming together to ensure our region is represented within this groundbreaking research project. I’m incredibly proud of the numbers we’ve achieved so quickly as a city so far, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet booked to get involved with this historic project.

“The work Our Future Health is doing will change the face of modern medicine and I personally want to see Greater Manchester leading the charge with that.”

Local resident Seren Hughes, 27, is one of the thousands of Our Future Health volunteers. She said:

“I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer when I was 19 years old. It was such a shock – I was in the first year of university at the time. In a way I was lucky; my doctors caught the cancer really early. If it had been left longer, the outcome could have been quite different. Due to what I’ve experienced with my own health, I want to be part of research so that other people can benefit from new discoveries in healthcare.”

Find out more about Our Future Health at our free online event on Thursday 16 February from 10.30am until 12 noon

This is just the beginning of our research. Our Future Health’s work will continue as we expand to further locations and roll out the programme to more local communities across the Greater Manchester region and beyond.

To find out more and learn how you can get involved, you’re invited to take part in a one-off free online event on Thursday 16 February at 10.30am to hear from local volunteers, Our Future Health Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships, Dr Fiona Reddington, and local partners. This will be followed by a discussion about the ongoing success of the programme so far in Greater Manchester.

The event is open to all stakeholders and members of the public in Greater Manchester, and will provide opportunities for everyone to help us have a real impact in the region.

Tickets are limited and you can reserve your place here.