latest health care news


Stamped London health devolution deal to focus on NHS property sell-off

A deal to give London unprecedented devolved powers over health and care has been signed by officials today.

The agreement includes calls for the NHS to sell off unused land and buildings in the capital and reinvest the money in community and public services, with surplus land being marked for housing.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, mayor of London Sadiq Khan, London Councils, several NHS organisations and wider health and care leaders all signed the deal, which has been tested with pilot schemes for nearly two years.

The NHS is one of the largest landowners in London, holding an estimated £11bn estate, but a high proportion of the capital’s primary care holdings – including GP surgeries and family health clinics – are in poor condition, with 13% requiring rebuilding and 51% in need of refurbishment.

Today’s announcement means these services will benefit from the sale of other NHS-owned assets. This money can also be channelled into community care and other key public services.

“This agreement will put local people in the driving seat about the health and care they receive in the capital and means that Londoners will have more of say on how their healthcare needs are met now and in the future,” explained Hunt.

“I know there is a huge amount of good practice and innovation in London’s health and care services, and this will help them to go further and faster in improving patient care.”

In response to the news, Khan added: “I’ve long argued that London needs greater control over the services that will help improve life in our city. It is vital that the capital has the powers to plan and coordinate health services that meet the needs of local communities and ensure Londoners have proper access to them.

“Today is a really important step in the right direction in our journey to becoming the world’s healthiest city and an unprecedented level of partnership working, with more than 100 organisations, has made this all possible.”

A similar devolution scheme has been development in Manchester for over two years and was recently praised by NHS England’s outgoing national medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh.

NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said the London agreement was a step forward for care and health services in the capital.

“This strengthened partnership has the potential to unlock funds for reinvestment in much needed modern NHS buildings and clinics across London, as well as kick starting more concerted action on rising health threats such as obesity and air pollution,” he continued.

“The practical test will be ensuring this welcome new cooperation rapidly catalyses new benefits for all who depend on the capital's health services.”

Other devolution deals are planned across the country, with Surrey the next in line for increased local power and responsibilities.

In June, local authorities and CCGs signed a pledge to move forward plans for the area and will expect to see a similar announcement to today’s somewhere in the future.

Cllr Claire Kober, chair of London Councils, called the agreement a “significant step forward” for health in the capital, adding that pilot schemes had clearly showed the positive effects devolution would have.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England’s regional director for London, said the announcement would make the capital a healthier place to live and gave leaders a chance to “shape local environments and encourage healthy decisions and healthier lifestyles.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >


Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Why social prescribing is the future of healthcare

01/04/2020Why social prescribing is the future of healthcare

Jennifer Jones-Rigby, COO at Health Exchange, a social enterprise seeking to shape the design and development of health and wellbeing services in a way that wil... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >