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Better Health for all Londoners: The Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy

  • By Jack Eddy

London Councils is encouraged by the aims of the Health Inequality Strategy and welcomes the Mayor’s commitment to improve the long-term health of Londoners by addressing the factors that are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of local communities. The Mayor of London can play a vital role as a champion for health equity and, in so doing, galvanise the health system to work together to tackle health issues in the areas where he already has influence, such as housing, planning, transport and culture. We understand that the Health Inequality Strategy is long-term in its scope, but London Councils recommends that a robust and regular evaluation and monitoring process is included in the Strategy in order to assess its impact.

Summary of Recommendations:

  1. Call for more information or greater clarity on Breastfeeding, Oral Health, the digital redbook, Social Prescribing and Fuel Poverty
  2. Encourage all primary schools in London to take part in the Daily Mile via the Healthy Schools programme
  3. Explain how the Mayor can assist the Sugar Smart campaigns launched by boroughs
  4. Treat mental health as a “golden thread” among all the other priorities within the strategy
  5. Use the Mayor’s lobbying and negotiating powers to facilitate agreement among coroners regarding a standardised definition of what constitutes death by suicide and the development of a system that shares timely information about unexpected deaths that may be suicide
  6. Ensure there are strong links between the Health Inequality Strategy and the Transport Strategy, with clear examples of what actions will be taken to reduce health risks linked to poor air quality
  7. Work proactively with boroughs to ensure that the location of schools in poor air quality areas is raised within the requirements of the London Plan.
  8. Explore the possibility of enforcing 20 mph speed limits near schools
  9. Include a restriction on hot food takeaways being permitted within 400 metres of an existing or proposed primary or secondary school in both the Health Inequality Strategy and the London Plan
  10. Support methods of affecting the local food chain, such as reducing portion sizes or the levels of sugar, salt and fat content in food products in the Health Inequality Strategy and the Food Strategy
  11. Use housing powers to make available a number of properties across London for TB patients
  12. Consider how to use Mayoral influence to ensure that Police enforcement measures are in place to complement the resources being undertaken at a borough level in limiting illegal tobacco
  13. London Councils is included in any possible Childhood Obesity Taskforce

Read the full report

Jack Eddy, Principal Policy and Project Officer, Health and Adult Services