Information on the new London Mayor supplied by BMA

Written Questions:


Mayor of London Health Powers

Question No: 2016/2319

Shaun Bailey: Pursuant to question 2016/1738 where you stated that you would like the Mayor and the London Health Board to have “an enhanced oversight role of health and care on behalf of all Londoners”, which specific areas of health and care would you like to have oversight on?


The Mayor: I want the London Health Board to have enhanced political oversight of three main areas: firstly the Better Health for London 10 ambitions for London’s health and care that were identified by Lord Darzi’s London Health Commission and the NHS Five Year Forward View. Secondly the Board will oversee health and care devolution in London. Thirdly I want the board to oversee work to address health inequalities across the city.


Question No: 2016/2320

Shaun Bailey: Pursuant to question 2016/1738 stated that you want to work with partners and take a range of views before deciding where you can make the biggest impact on health. Which specific partners will you work with?


The Mayor: I will work with a range of partners including Public Health England, NHS England, local authorities, London Councils, the community and voluntary sector, and the business sector.


Question No: 2016/2321

Shaun Bailey: Pursuant to question 2016/1738, when will you meet with partners before taking final decisions on where you can make the biggest impact on health?


The Mayor: I will meet with a range of health related partners who attend the next London Health Board meeting on 28 June. I will also consider health in other conversations across the broad range of stakeholders who I will meet in the next few months.


NHS Resources in London

Question No: 2016/2250

Andrew Boff: When are you planning to meet the Government to make the “strongest possible case” for the resources you believe the NHS in London needs?


The Mayor: I will make the case for London at every opportunity. Although my chair of the London Health Board which oversees devolution, I will work with partners to make the case for resources for London. Work in the five health and care devolution pilots is underway and I expect clarity on the ‘asks’ of government over the summer. I expect to make an announcement during the later part of this calendar year.


Question No: 2016/2251

Andrew Boff: Who are you planning to meet from the Government to make the “strongest possible case” for the resources you believe the NHS in London needs?


The Mayor: As per MQ 2016 /2250 my office will schedule a series of meetings with Government Minsters and with signatories to the London Health and Care Devolution Agreement signed in December 2015. These meeting(s) are not currently in the diary.


Health Devolution

Question No: 2016/2252

Andrew Boff: What specific measures are you going to take, through devolution, to create a “parity of esteem between physical and mental health and illnesses” as pledged in your manifesto?


The Mayor: As chair of the London Health Board, I will work with NHS partners and local government to oversee health and healthcare in London. Through the London health devolution agreements, London is exploring how devolution could work in practice. The devolution pilots, including those in Hackney and Lewisham which both focus on integration of mental and physical health services, will inform what additional powers London requires to address the historic disparity between physical and mental health services. I will be both a champion for London’s NHS and for mental health, ensuring that mental health is high on the city’s agenda and that London has the powers it needs to best address some of London’s unique mental health needs.


Question No: 2016/2253

Andrew Boff: Pursuant to question 2016/1645 where you stated that you “look forward to working with local government and health and care leaders to ensure that devolution enables London to improve our mental and physical health and wellbeing”, what date will you be meeting with local government and health and care leaders?


The Mayor: I will chair the next meeting of the London Health Board on 28 June 2016.


Public Health

Question No: 2016/2314

Shaun Bailey: Pursuant to question 2016/1735, who will you meet with from “Public Health England, the NHS, MPS and the London boroughs” to inform your plans to reduce alcohol misuse in London?


The Mayor: In June I will be meeting with the Regional Director for London for Public Health England, Dr Yvonne Doyle, to discuss alcohol misuse and other issues.


Question No: 2016/2324

Shaun Bailey: Do you support the Local Government Association’s call to give local communities more freedom to ban junk food advertising near schools as a means of reducing health inequalities surrounding child obesity?


The Mayor: Yes, I support local authorities being given the powers to ban junk food advertising near schools to help to reduce the inequalities in child obesity in London.


Question No: 2016/2327

Shaun Bailey: What specific steps are you going to take to tackle obesity in London?


The Mayor: As Mayor I am prepared to take the action needed to tackle obesity in London. The steps I will take will be part of my comprehensive public health strategy, which is to be developed.


Question No: 2016/2330

Shaun Bailey: Research from the British Heart Foundation shows that more than one in five adults in Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington and Tower Hamlets smoke regularly – twice the rate of Richmond. Given that more than 1,000 Londoners are admitted to hospital each week for diseases directly caused by smoking, what steps are you, in conjunction with NHS partners, going to take to reduce the health inequalities associated with smoking in London?


The Mayor: I am committed to supporting the work of the British Heart Foundation, Public Health England, the NHS and local boroughs in reducing the harms of smoking which disproportionately affect our less well off communities. As part of the new London Health inequalities strategy I shall be looking to see what more can be done to help smoking prevention, to help those seeking to quit and to tackle the issue of illegal tobacco.


Question No: 2016/2325

Shaun Bailey: What specific steps are you going to take to build on the former Mayor of London’s successful Healthy Schools London programme?


The Mayor: My public health commitment to promote healthy, active lifestyles, tackle child obesity, mental health, active travel, air pollution and inequality will be continued through Healthy Schools London (HSL). Building on this, my Health Team is currently developing a pilot to test rolling out a Healthy Early Years (HEY) programme across London. HEY is a potential awards scheme that would support and recognise early years settings’ achievements in child health, wellbeing and school readiness (under-fives). This would reach out to children, staff, parents and the wider community across 13,000 London settings.


Question No: 2016/2326

Shaun Bailey: What assessment have you made of the former Mayor of London’s Healthy Schools London programme?


The Mayor: An independent evaluation of the Healthy Schools London programme is underway. It is being led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the North Thames CLAHRC. Draft initial findings are very positive and suggest that the programme has provided an extremely successful engagement strategy in difficult times with Boroughs playing an important role acting as a conduit between the GLA, borough, and schools. The Healthy Schools London programme currently has three-quarters of all London schools signed up (1752 schools) and over half of these have achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. The full evaluation will be available this summer.


Question No: 2016/2207

Navin Shah: In relation to the wellbeing of people, specific issues concerning TB and Obesity have been raised in Harrow. What is the Mayor’s position to tackle such issues?


The Mayor: I am very concerned that London has the highest proportion of overweight or obese children aged 10-11 years in England. The action I will take to tackle obesity in London will be developed as part of my comprehensive public health strategy.


I am also concerned that London still has one of the highest rates of TB in Western Europe. I look forward to working with partners at the London TB Control Board to tackle this disease and to reduce the rates of TB in London.


Mental Health

Question No: 2016/2329

Shaun Bailey: You pledged in your manifesto to “coordinate efforts to reduce the number of people who take their own lives”. What specific steps do you plan to take to reduce the number of suicides in London?


The Mayor :Earlier this year the national mental health taskforce published its findings and recommendations. The taskforce recommended that all local areas have multi-agency suicide prevention plans in place by 2017.


I will work with local areas and in partnership with other agencies to support suicide reduction across London. As well as targeted work with those communities that are at higher risk of suicide, approaches to suicide prevention requires wider interventions aimed at improving people’s overall mental health and wellbeing. I am determined that London leads the way in supporting people in crisis, in improving London’s capacity to detect the signs of mental ill health, in promoting good mental health, in building strong, connected and resilient communities, and in getting London talking about mental health.


Question No: 2016/1991

Caroline Russell: What data do TfL collect on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of its contracted bus drivers?


The Mayor: TfL does not collect data on the health and wellbeing of staff it does not directly employ. The private bus operators who employ drivers have a duty of care to their staff and regularly arrange road shows and forums related to healthy eating and living, and initiatives to reduce sick days such as advice on reducing stress, improving driver posture and looking for early signs of health-related issues.


There are also well-established arrangements for staff and company representatives to discuss and manage issues connected to health and wellbeing. TfL is now taking forward my aspirations for a unified, fair pay structure for London’s bus drivers. I have asked that officers also consider the current approach to driver welfare in discussions with bus companies.


Vulnerability data sharing

Question No: 2016/2345

Steve O’Connell: What assessment have you made of the Metropolitan Police Service’s ability to share data on vulnerable people with partner agencies such as the National Health Service?


The Mayor: Currently, the MPS principally shares vulnerability data on a quarterly basis through the London Safeguarding Children’s Board, which is led by London Councils. The report provides a strategic picture of the police encountered vulnerability and the format is currently being refined to allow better problem solving.

On a tactical basis, information on vulnerable people is shared through the borough-based Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH). Co-located staff are able to share police information fast time to assess, and where necessary take action to safeguard individuals coming to notice.


I will be developing my Police and Crime Plan and that will present an excellent opportunity to consult with key stakeholders on current and future practice.


London Transport Health Action Plan

Question No: 2016/1982

Caroline Russell: In ‘Delivering Your Manifesto’ TfL offered to update the Transport Health Action Plan during your first 100 days of office. Will you take TfL up on this offer?


The Mayor: I am committed to improving public health and reducing health inequalities, and a key element of this will be through better planning of London’s transport network. Part of this is Transport for London’s commitment to embed the Healthy Streets Approach across the organisation.

My Deputy Mayor for Transport is currently leading discussions to establish the most appropriate means of delivering enhanced promotion of more active travel and progress is being made.


I have also asked TfL to report to me before the end of the year on how they will better embed health considerations in decision making across the organisation, and how they will be measuring, and publically reporting on, health improvements and reductions in health inequalities.


Question No: 2016/1983

Caroline Russell: You recently confirmed that TfL will use the Healthy Streets Check Tool on all streets schemes at design stage. Please tell me what score the Baker Street two-way plans achieve?


The Mayor: I have asked TfL to develop a system where public realm schemes are assessed using the Healthy Streets Check during the design stage, to ensure the opportunities to maximise the health benefits of schemes can be incorporated.


Once this system has been established it will be applied to all new schemes. If this fits with the timing of the Baker Street scheme it will be included in that process.


Sickle Cell in Schools

Question No: 2016/2144

Florence Eshalomi: Noting your responsibilities in relation to health inequalities, will you consider holding a series of workshops for London boroughs to promote access to treatment for school children with sickle cell disease?


The Mayor: Through the Healthy Schools London (HSL) programme, I will support schools to consider and respond to the health and wellbeing needs of their pupils.

Working with boroughs and schools, HSL focuses on the whole child and promotes a whole school approach to health and wellbeing. All schools that achieve an Award must ensure that they have a policy on how they deal with special needs including any medical needs of pupils. Schools must also detail how they identify and meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people and have arrangements to provide appropriate support.


This includes accessing external agencies and support. I am able to publicise information regarding access to sickle cell treatment on my Healthy Schools London website if required. Three- quarters of all London schools are taking part in Healthy Schools London (1752 schools).



Question No: 2016/2239

Fiona Twycross: 391,000 of London’s children live in overcrowded homes, up 18% since 2008, which is 24% of all children in the capital. Overcrowding affects children’s education, but it also contributes to poor mental and physical health, the most overcrowded boroughs also have increasing incidences of tuberculosis and respiratory illnesses. Will you commit to tackling overcrowding to ensure that every child in London is able to reach their full potential?


The Mayor: Overcrowding is, I agree, a grave concern. It is best tacked by increasing the supply of homes, particularly of homes that are genuinely affordable to families, too many of whom are currently stuck in accommodation that’s too small for them.


Doing so is my biggest single priority as Mayor.


HIV Awareness in London

Question No: 2016/2255

Andrew Boff: Surveys conducted by the National AIDS Trust indicate that knowledge and understanding of HIV transmission is declining. What specific steps are you going to take to raise awareness of HIV within London?


The Mayor: I am aware of this report and share concerns about the need to improve awareness and so boost prevention of HIV. This is one of the issues I will be raising with Public Health England and other partners to ensure we get effective and appropriate messages to all target audiences.


Dementia Friendly Capital

Question No: 2016/2254

Andrew Boff: Do you support the Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to make London the first ‘dementia-friendly’ capital city by 2020?


The Mayor: I support the Alzheimer’s Society’s ambition for London to be the first dementia-friendly capital city in the world because everyone living with dementia should be able to access the high-quality and compassionate support they need. I have proposed that they meet with GLA health officers to discuss the challenges of dementia in London.

As London Health Board Chair I am committed to improving public health and reducing health inequalities, including ensuring that all Londoners have access to integrated, quality health services. Importantly, the new London Health Inequalities Strategy, in development with stakeholders, will build on Better Health for London and the London Health and Care Devolution Agreements and move London towards being a more dementia-friendly city.