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12.09.16

London councils seek joint commissioning to ‘embed public health’ in all services

Local authorities in London intend to seek extensive powers over healthcare as part of their devolution deal.

A paper published by London Councils ahead of its executive board meeting tomorrow says that healthcare decisions, including those on primary care commissioning, should be made jointly between London boroughs and CCGs.

This would require allowing London councils to adopt their own payment models and contracts instead of following national models, amending regulatory legislation such as the 2006 NHS Act, and aligning the CQC, NHS Improvement and other regulatory bodies to local healthcare systems.

It says that London borough councils could then “universally embed public health in all borough services in order to create healthy communities”.

Major issues to be tackled by this approach include problem gambling, smoking, establishing health as a concern in alcohol licensing decisions, and encouraging employment services for mentally ill people through service integration.

In addition, the report says that London healthcare systems should be entitled to keep all money from the sale of NHS estate assets and reinvest it in local healthcare systems.

The funding would allow local health systems to maximise their investment in prevention, with the aim of “making London the world’s healthiest city”.

The report notes that “pan-London agreement” is “essential” to implementing the proposals if they gain government support.

Greater Manchester became the first local authority in the country to receive devolved powers over health in April. It is now planning to introduce joint commissioning powers between Manchester city council and the city’s three CCGs.

(Image c. Doug Wheller)

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