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Working together to make London the world’s healthiest city

London’s health and care leaders come together at the 2018 London Health Board Conference

On Thursday, 25 October 2018, the Mayor of London and London’s health, care and borough leaders came together to renew their joint commitment to make London the healthiest city in the world.

At the London Health Board Conference, held at City Hall, leaders and experts reflected on the progress they have made so far to tackle inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of Londoners. They also discussed the challenges ahead and highlighted the importance of collaboration between health services, local authorities, voluntary partners and local communities to share learning, pool resources and build on good practice in order to transform the way Londoners receive care.

Photo of Sadiq Khan hosting a panel discussion at City Hall

At the event, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, refreshed his vision for health and care, drawing on his ‘health in all policies’ approach intended to provide Londoners with the best opportunities to live long lives in good health:

“Like other global cities, we face some huge challenges. Too many Londoners suffer ill health because they are excluded, socially and economically. 

“London has the potential to be the world’s healthiest global city. To achieve this, and to address the many challenges we face, I believe that London needs a fresh vision for health and care.  A vision that partners across London can unite behind. 

“My Health Inequalities Strategy, published earlier this month, is based on this principle: people’s circumstances are not set in stone; therefore the health inequalities caused by these circumstances are not set in stone either.”

The London Health Board, which is chaired by the Mayor, comprises elected leaders and London professional health leads and seeks to drive improvements that will accelerate the transformation of health and care services in the capital. Supported by Healthy London Partnership, the conference galvanised London’s health and care leaders to review the work already underway and to explore joined-up solutions for addressing London’s unique, complex health and care challenges.

Simon Stevens presenting at the London Health Board conference at City Hall

In his keynote address, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England welcomed the work of the London Health Board and emphasised the importance of working collaboratively to address London’s health inequalities.

“The [partnership] agenda is central to what we’ve got to do, not just in London, but across the country as a whole as we shape the long term plan for the NHS. 

“Despite our progress… we still have significant inequalities and substantial differences in outcomes in the performance of the health service. We know the downstream consequences of ill health can more effectively be tackled if the NHS took a more activist role with our partners upstream in the determinants of health. 

“The fact is we will make the NHS pound go further if we ensure much of the avoidable illness burden is tackled at source and we can only do that with our partners and that is what the NHS is committed to do.”

‘Working together to make London the world’s healthiest city’, a new film showcasing the latest health innovation in London, was premiered at the conference. The film features a number of initiatives and interventions happening at a local and London level to improve the health of Londoners.

The London Health Board Conference was webcast live on the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) website and can be watched back via the GLA’s media centre.