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27.07.16

Khan promises to address London NHS worker housing concerns

The new London mayor has promised to address concerns that the lack of affordable housing in the capital is driving out NHS workers.

Before London’s mayoral election, the Royal College of Nursing led a campaign for the next mayor to address the issue.

It said that London has a 17% vacancy rate for nurses and this is likely to grow, with 40% of nurses saying they are considering leaving the capital in the next five years and 66% linking this to the cost of housing.

In response to a written question from London assembly member Sian Berry, Sadiq Khan said his team would discuss with the NHS whether a proportion of homes on NHS land can be reserved for health service workers.

Khan said: “I want to build more homes that Londoners on low and middle incomes can afford to rent, including for those who work in the emergency services.”

Berry welcomed the “common sense” idea of providing homes on NHS land, but said that it should be applied to other emergency services workers.

“More and more of our public and emergency service workers are being forced outside of London by rising living costs,” she said, “and the mayor must make this a wider priority for his new housing policies. He must go further and not restrict this initiative to the NHS, but include police, fire service workers, teachers and other essential staff.”

During the recent NHS Confederation conference, NHS Improvement boss Jim Mackey said the regulator is working on a plan to try and utilise the NHS estate better to provide more affordable housing for NHS staff, especially for those working in the capital.

(Image c. Jonathan Brady from PA Wire/ Press Association Images)

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