HEALTH bosses in Bury sealed the deal on their plan to overhaul the way they care for the public.

Representatives from the council, GPs, hospital chiefs and voluntary workers all signed up to the Local Care Organisation (LCO).

The LCO has been formed to allow these disparate health groups to work together to best use their collective £27 million budget and make long-term savings.

Kath Wynne-Jones, chief officer of Bury LCO, said: "We've established five neighbourhoods. Each will have an integrated health and social care team ­— district nurses, social workers etc ­— working together."

It is hoped that by bringing all aspects of health care closer together, from GPs to therapists and health visitors to volunteers, there will be less duplication for patients and staff will learn to work together and share information for a healthier town.

The LCO will be responsible for the majority of health care outside of hospital with around 600 staff on the books.

Mrs Wynne-Jones said patients would take a more active role in the future and staff would find out what was important to a person, for example getting well enough to attend a wedding, when deciding on care.

It is hoped the changes will make Bury a more attractive place for health care professionals to work, with more opportunities, helping to retain staff.