A brief guide to...Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester

Activities & Events | Average House Prices | Schools & Education| Transport | Trusts in the Area

Canal in Castlefield, Manchester

Greater Manchester has a population of over 2.5 million and consists of 10 metropolitan boroughs ranging from Stockport to Bolton and Trafford to Rochdale. For the purposes of this guide to the North Western Deanery we have also included Macclesfield which is technically part of Cheshire as we have a small number of posts there.

Manchester is named the best UK city to live in, (August 2015) and as such would be a great base from which to undertake your specialty training. Read on for more reasons to chose the North Western Deanery...

Activities & Events

The Manchester area is an excellent location for football enthusiasts with 2 teams (2015/2016 season) currently in the Premier League (Manchester City and Manchester United) plus Bolton Wanderers in the Championship. There are also a number of lower league teams such as Stockport Town and lots of opportunities to get involved in Sunday League football teams. And if you are more interested in WAGs than footballers, Knutsford, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow lie to the south and their stylish shops and restaurants frequently entertain the Cheshire Set.

Before you even get to the countryside around Greater Manchester, it's worth mentioning that the cities and towns here have large amounts of green space and parks aplenty. Salford for example has 60% green space and there are regular events in parks across the area; Platt Fields Park in Manchester is home to festivals such as the Manchester Mega Mela which bills itself as a vibrant and colourful celebration of South Asian culture and Queens Park in Rochdale holds various events and activities including wildlife walks and tennis. In Bolton, you can combine a visit to the aquarium with a visit to Bolton Museum and Archives.

To the east of Manchester, above Oldham lies Saddleworth Moor and the Peak District is also easily accessible from Manchester and particularly Ashton-under-Lyne. Not far from Rochdale is Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre which is open all year round. There are excellent cycle routes in the area and if you fancy a relaxed stroll in stunning surroundings why not try Lyme Park in Disley which was featured in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

Wigan is home the annual World Pie Eating Championship and whilst you may be familiar with the concept of tapas, The First Chop in the village of Ramsbottom near Bury is unusual in that its tapas comes with a peculiarly Lancashire twist such as black pudding chipolatas. The Curry Mile in Rusholme, South Manchester (just a short walk from Manchester Royal Infirmary) is well known for its Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cuisine - although these days up to a third of the restaurants there sell food from the Middle East including Iran, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

There is plenty to do in the evenings. Wigan and Oldham both have lively club and pub scenes and Bolton benefits from its student population. The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays and the Royal Exchange in Manchester are internationally renowned theatres and the Hallé is Britain's oldest professional orchestra. Manchester has well established venues such as the Manchester Arena, the Apollo and the Manchester Academies that put on world-famous acts. It also has a vibrant local music scene and there are a multitude of independent bars that host gigs and open mics.

House Prices

There are plenty of options when looking for housing in the Greater Manchester area and the good news is that most of the prices compare very favourably to the rest of the UK. Details of house prices can be found via the Land Registry.

Schools & Education

There is a wide range of schools in the area ranging from several new academies to more traditional grammar schools. William Hulme's Grammar School (which is now an academy) does well at both GCSE and A-level in the Manchester area, whilst near Wigan, Winstanley Sixth Form College does better than average. Many primary schools in the area score well on number of pupils attaining the required level in English and Maths including St Joseph's RC Junior Infant and Nursery School in Oldham and North Cheshire Jewish Primary School in Stockport.

There are world-class universities in the area including Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University.


Manchester Day Parade by Flickr User BinaryApe



Manchester is well served by transport links; after an upgrade to the West Coast mainline, you can now get to London in less than 2 hours. In the future an even higher speed railway track may run through Manchester. By road, the M6 takes you North and South whilst the M62 runs from East to West. Manchester Airport flies direct to over 190 locations worldwide and is easily reached from the rest of the region.

There is a good network of local buses and the Metrolink trams currently run from Bury, Eccles and Altrincham, Oldham and Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne, East Didsbury and Manchester Airport into Manchester city centre. 

Trusts in the area

You can find out more about how trainees see Trusts in Greater Manchester by using the 
GMC survey reporting tool, which can be accessed via this link.

  • Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • A provider of tertiary and specialist healthcare services in Manchester which treats more than a million patients every year. The five specialist hospitals are home to hundreds of world class clinicians and academic staff committed to finding patients the best care and treatments.
    • As of April 2012, Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust has been incorporated into Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Macclesfield only)
    • Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health services for children, adults and older people, as well as learning disability and drug and alcohol services.


  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
    • The Christie is one of Europe's leading cancer centres, treating over 40,000 patients a year. It is based in Manchester and serves a population of 3.2 million across Greater Manchester & Cheshire, but as a national specialist around 26% of patients are referred to the Christie from other parts of the country.
  • East Cheshire NHS Trust (Macclesfield only)
    • East Cheshire NHS Trust provides services for a population of circa 200,000 people at Macclesfield, Congleton and Knutsford sites. The North Western Deanery only has posts in Macclesfield.


  • Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
    • Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust provides district mental health services in Bolton, Salford and Trafford. They also provide substance misuse services in Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Manchester, Wigan and Leigh and Blackburn with Darwen. The Trust delivers specialist mental health and substance misuse inpatient services to the wider North West.


  • Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust
    • Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust brings together social care and health services for adults of working age with severe and enduring mental health problems, and provides NHS services for the elderly mentally ill. It was one of the first Care Trusts in the country and was set up in April 2002.


  • Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
    • The Trust provides high quality general and specialist hospital treatment to the 800,000 residents living in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and North Manchester.
  • Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
    • The Trust provides mental health and specialist drug and alcohol services to a population of almost 1.2 million people throughout the Boroughs of Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport and Tameside & Glossop.


  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
    • A large and busy teaching hospital which cares for an average of 320,000 people a year. It provides a range of medical, surgical, maternity and emergency services to the people of Salford. It also offers specialist care to people from all over the UK who need expert help with brain, neuroscience, kidney, bone, intestine or skin conditions.


  • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
    • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust's main hospital is Stepping Hill, which looks after a population of approximately 350,000 people.


  • Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    • Situated at the foot of the Pennines, eight miles to the east of Manchester the Trust services a population of over 250,000. The population is concentrated in the largely industrialised areas of the eight townships of Tameside, which comprises Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. However, Glossop, with its population of approximately 28,000 is part of Derbyshire High Peak Borough Council, which provides the challenges of a more rural community.


  • University Hospitals of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
    • UHSM is a major acute teaching hospital trust providing services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital (the latter owned by Manchester PCT). It is recognised as a centre of clinical excellence and provides district general hospital services and specialist tertiary services to its local community. Its fields of specialist expertise - including cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, respiratory conditions, burns and plastics, cancer and breast care services - not only service the people of South Manchester, but help patients from across the North West and beyond.


  • Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
    • The Trust is a major acute Trust serving the people of the Borough of Wigan. Innovative and forward thinking, the Trust is dedicated to providing the best possible healthcare for the local population of over 300,000.

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Last reviewed:  19th August 2015