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Greater Manchester handed £6-billion in health spending

Greater Manchester has been handed £6 billion worth of health spending, in what the government is calling an historic day.

It's the first area in the country to get control of every penny it spends on health and social care.

News of the 'memorandum of understanding,' signed in Manchester today leaked earlier in the week.

So is it the start of local decisions taken by local people or the beginning of the end for our National Health Service?

Here's our correspondent, Matt O'Donoghue:

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Chancellor confirms NHS budget control in Greater Manchester

Plans to devolve NHS spending power across Greater Manchester have been confirmed by the Chancellor.

The region will become the first in the country to be handed full control of it's entire £6 billion NHS budget in exchange for an elected mayor in 2017.

George Osborne has denied Labour claims it'll mean a two tier health service.

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  1. Tony Morris

Cheshire's bionic woman

A surgeon at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital has used new titanium technology to rebuild the ribcage of a Cheshire woman who was trampled on by her horse. Barbara Schofield ended up with nine broken ribs along with a punctured lung as a result of the fall in September 2014.

Barbara has been riding horses for 20 years. Credit: Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

Only a handful of hospitals in the country use this latest technology where titanium plates and screws are used to help mend cracked bones. These make it possible for the ribs to heal faster with lower levels of pain for the patient.

X ray of Barbara's ribs after the pioneering surgery Credit: Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

Barbara, who's from Northwich, is now back in the saddle attempting to regain her confidence. Barbara said " I am so fortunate to have been dealt with by such a talented surgical team .. I’ve not been through the security body scanners at an airport yet - they will probably never have seen anything quite like it!"

Greater Manchester to control its NHS budget

Greater Manchester Council will control a 6 billion pound NHS budget Credit: PA

Greater Manchester will be the first place in the country to be handed control of it's entire NHS budget. The Chancellor George Osborne wants to give town hall bosses £6bn in the latest wave of devolution expected to be confirmed later this week.

Mr Osborne is expected to visit Manchester to formally announce the news. In return the city will have an elected mayor from 2017. Full control of the health budget is considered a fews years off.

Cancer sufferer's anger at ambulance delay

Julie Shute with husband Andy Credit: Family photo

A mum with an incurable and aggressive form of brain cancer was left waiting for an ambulance for more than two hours after suffering two severe seizures on Valentine's Day. Julie Shute, from Prenton, Wirral, was diagnosed in August 2013 and given a life expectancy of around 14 months. Husband Andy has lodged a formal complaint against North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust following the incident, in which they were told an ambulance would take "at least 75 minutes" after already waiting more than an hour.

Julie's been told her brain cancer is incurable Credit: Family photo

He now says he has absolutely no confidence in the ambulance service in the North West and would never trust them again.

A North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust spokesperson said: “We apologise to the family for any distress caused by waiting for an ambulance and appreciate that this must be a difficult time for them. The Trust has experienced a high level of activity over the previous few months and saw a 2.4 per cent rise in the number of ‘999’ emergency calls between 13 and 15 February when compared to the same time period in 2014. We have received a complaint from the family and have launched an investigation into the incident. The outcome will then be shared with the patient’s family.”

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