A person’s physical and mental health and wellbeing are influenced throughout the life by the wider determinants of health, which are a diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors, alongside behavioural risk factors. The Marmot review, published in 2010, raised the profile of wider determinants of health by emphasising the strong and persistent link between social inequalities and disparities in health outcomes. Local government is well placed to understand and meet the needs of local populations and influence the broader determinants of health in local areas.
Addressing the wider determinants of health has a key role to play in reducing the stark health inequalities that exist in London. For example, there are startling differences in life expectancy across London's boroughs, with the average healthy life expectancy for men in Richmond upon Thames 70 years, compared to 58 years in Barking and Dagenham, for women this ranges between 56 years in Tower Hamlets to 70 years in Richmond upon Thames.
The Mayor of London's Health Inequalities Strategy highlights existing practice in London to address the wider determinants of health, and outlines a number of actions within five key priority areas (healthy children, healthy minds, healthy places, healthy communities, and healthy living) to further this tackle health inequalities.