Healthcare Policy Development: London Health Commission
London faces significant challenges in health and healthcare, many of them unique. There is high burden of disease, both physical and mental; health inequalities remain stubbornly wide between, and within, boroughs; despite examples of world-leading services and research, quality of care is variable and often does not meet people’s needs and expectations; and the current economic climate means finances are constrained whilst healthcare costs are rising.
The London Health Commission is an independent inquiry established in September 2013 by the Mayor of London. Chaired by Professor the Lord Darzi, and reporting directly to the Mayor, the Commission examined how London’s health and healthcare can be improved for the benefit of the population. The Commission examined five broad themes and made recommendations for each:
- Improving the quality and integration of care
- Enabling high quality and integrated care delivery
- Healthy lives and reducing health inequalities
- Health economy, research and education
- Engaging the public on how decisions are made about health and healthcare.
Tracey was the programme lead for the 'Improving Health, Reducing Health Inequalities' work-stream working closely with the Director of Public Health England (PHE) (London), Dr. Yvonne Doyle, the work-steam Chair, and the wider PHE team.
Drawing on good practice from across the UK and overseas, and engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders from across London, including the voluntary sector and local government, this work-stream developed a prioritised set of proposals aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Londoners and better supporting and engaging them in managing their own health and care.
Lord Darzi presented the London Health Commission’s final report to the Mayor of London in October 2014. It included a number of recommendations developed by the ‘Improving Health, Reducing Health Inequalities' work-stream to improve health and wellbeing across the capital focused on the following:
- Reducing childhood obesity
- Creating healthy schools
- Incentivising workplace health
- Encouraging active travel
- Improving the environment
- Promoting mental health and well being
- Improving health and health care for the homeless
These proposals were presented to the Mayor and published in October 2014 in the ‘Better Health for London’ report.