26 Jul Tackling inequalities to be key goal of NHS and local authorities in North West London
Over the past year we have been working closely with our North West London NHS colleagues to support the development of their plan to tackle health inequalities. This is being done through the new Integrated Care System (ICS) which became a statutory partnership on 1st July 2022.
The local NHS and the eight local authorities, along with the WLA, have pulled together a report setting out the startling inequalities challenges our area faces. In the coming months, community conversations will be set up in each borough to discuss these issues with residents, who will be asked to help shape the future of healthcare in North West London.
ICSs bring together all part of the NHS and local authorities in an area to focus on improving the health of the local population. Addressing long-standing inequalities is a key objective of the North West London ICS and one of the drivers for the creation of these new partnerships. The NHS and local authorities in North West London have already been working informally as an ICS, ahead of implementation of new legislation to put them on a statutory footing.
Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive of Brent Council and joint Senior Responsible Officer for the North West London population health and inequalities strategy, said:
“This has to be the start of doing things differently. The variation in access, health outcomes and life expectancy between and within different areas across our eight boroughs is unacceptable. The NHS can’t solve these issues alone – we need to work with local councils, residents, the voluntary sector, Healthwatch and others if we are to develop a plan that truly meets people’s needs.”
Niall Bolger, Chief Executive of Hounslow Council and joint Senior Responsible Officer for the North West London population health and inequalities strategy, said:
“We have talked about addressing health inequalities for 30 years without making real progress. The passion with which local authorities and health service colleagues are now approaching this issue and putting it at the heart of our decision-making is really encouraging. To really change the way we work, we need to ask our residents what matters to them, how we can work with them to deliver healthier communities and better outcomes. To succeed, the ICS will need to build real understanding through first hand insights from our residents and communities – insights that will help identify and remove barriers to health equality across North West London.”
Community conversations are being set up in each borough over the next few months – open sessions which all residents are welcome to attend and talk to health and care staff about their experience and what matters to them. The sessions are expected to start in September and will be advertised in due course.