Last 12 months I wrote about why I fought onerous for London’s devolution deal. Work to strengthen partnerships and to show the potential alternatives of devolution into tangible enchancment in the high quality of lifetime of all Londoners is now properly underway, and we have now seen some constructive adjustments in the capital over the previous 6 months. While the London Devolution Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) brings with it many benefits, the most fun side from a public health perspective is that it locations prevention at the coronary heart of resolution making, offering new alternatives to behave early in stopping a few of the metropolis’s greatest health challenges.
How are we taking motion on the MoU commitments and what does this imply for Londoners?
- Illegal Tobacco and Alcohol
Our ambition is for London to be free from unlawful tobacco. To do that we’d like efficient city-wide working, primarily based on coordinated motion and data sharing to sort out the provide of unlawful tobacco. To take a step in direction of this, London has dedicated to work intently with HMRC to determine a pan-London unlawful tobacco and counterfeit alcohol enforcement workforce.
- Sugar & colleges
After the profitable introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, funding raised will likely be directed to colleges by means of the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund. For colleges and boroughs to make the most of this chance, they are going to be supported to take a position this one 12 months capital grant in efficient interventions to enhance little one health and wellbeing, resembling water fountains and improved faculty meals environments. This helps our ambition for main colleges in London to grow to be ‘Water Only’.
- Healthy city environments round colleges
London companions will be piloting methods to enhance the atmosphere round colleges by focusing on areas round colleges, creating 400m ‘super zones’ the place the meals atmosphere, promoting, playing, smoking and air high quality will likely be tackled to provide kids a a lot more healthy atmosphere to study and stay in. We will likely be actively supporting pilots in areas with the biggest inequalities.
Londoners have advised us that they want to see a discount in the unhealthy foods and drinks merchandise which are marketed to kids, and the MoU offers us with a chance to make a distinction to the promoting that kids are uncovered to in London. The London Mayor has proven nice management by proposing to ban all junk meals promoting throughout the TfL community. We will work to increase this even additional in boroughs and NHS websites.
Gambling is rising as a public health situation and is intently linked to health inequalities. We wish to scale back the hurt brought on by playing, notably in communities with the biggest inequalities. In May, the Government pledged to chop the most stake for fixed-odds betting terminals to £2, and London companions are working to help boroughs additional in reviewing their playing licencing statements in order that the proliferation of those terminals and playing retailers will be halted. We will place a selected focus on areas round colleges.
- Mental Health and Employment
Keeping Londoners in work and holding working individuals wholesome will bolster a productive financial system for the metropolis in addition to supporting individuals’s health. We will assist the long-term unemployed and people with health circumstances or disabilities get again into work, and even start work for the first time. We intention to optimise health and welfare providers to maintain the workforce wholesome.
- Fiscal Levers
Fiscal levers present a chance to boost funding that may very well be invested in health selling initiatives for the metropolis. We will likely be exploring methods to develop new or improve current fiscal levers to help city-level motion to handle the wider determinants of health, and can make sure that any cash raised is invested to finest profit health.
Evaluating this work
The analysis of this work won’t solely reveal the impression of our efforts however can even present the alternative so as to add to the proof base for different cities, each in the UK and internationally.
Our subsequent steps will likely be to present progress on all of those areas to the London Prevention Partnership Board this summer time, and talk our strategic intent to make use of the impetus that the devolution settlement offers to:
- with assist of supportive boroughs, trial higher general environments in and round colleges so as to shield kids from the onslaught of poisonous influences on their health
- discover how we are able to increase fiscal and different assets for health in London
- hold Londoners in work, notably supporting those that are battling psychological misery
- align these initiatives with our massive ambitions to sort out childhood weight problems, help mother and father, improve psychological wellbeing and hold a pointy focus on prevention in the metropolis.
Only in that manner can London make extra progress in direction of being the healthiest world metropolis.
Over the subsequent months I look ahead to sharing extra of this work with you as we proceed to see outcomes.
Read our first weblog on London’s devolution deal here.