April 1st sees the implementation of changes in how the NHS operates, with GPs taking over commissioning and public health responsibilities coming to the local authority.
Whilst Tory cuts to services are a real threat, there is hope for Tower Hamlets with our GPs committed to transparency in decision making. Practitioners and commissioners are working together to resist privatisation and fragmentation. The NHS Pledge is our bottom line, and Sam Everington GP as the chair of the clinical commissioning group is signed up.
As Mayor, I would put public health at the heart of everything the council does.
Ill health is both a cause and a symptom of poverty. With overcrowding, damp housing, and outrageous pollution levels we face real challenges, but there is so much we can do.
We can break the cycle of poverty by tackling malnutrition in our schools. Significant priority has already been given to childhood obesity, but the issues are wider, and we need to work with schools and health professionals to develop nutrition measures so we can develop objectives for improving the wellbeing of our children, to give them the best possible start. “Can Do” community grants and health trainers are the start of local people and organisations leading change on healthy lifestyles.
As Mayor I would work with colleagues to use public health impact assessments across the council, including in regeneration and planning.
Air pollution is responsible for close to 9% of deaths in Tower Hamlets each year, and is at the root of a range of chronic conditions. As a council we must get serious about tackling congestion and holding developers to account for the pollution caused by building works.
Currently, we have a Tory Mayor Of London who dodges responsibility for tacking pollution, and an Independent Mayor of Tower Hamlets who is interested in short term gimmicks than in making real change on public health.
I have brought GPs, health professionals, trade unions and campaigners together as Tower Hamlets Labour’s lead on health. I know how to bring people together to get things done. As Mayor, I would protect the NHS, and bring local people and organisations together to tackle the health inequalities that perpetuate poverty.