Devolution deal for London’s health

The Mayor of London has been given more control over London’s health budgets in a major deal with NHS, Public Health and the Secretary of State for Health.

The devolution deal gives the Mayor, London Councils and health leaders more control over health and care in the capital, leading to more joined-up services for Londoners. The deal is the largest of its kind in England with over 100 organisations involved in shaping it over the past couple of years. A key aspect of the localising of decision-making to London through devolution is control over the NHS estate in the capital. The NHS is one of the largest owners of land and buildings in London: land it owns is up to three times the size of Hyde Park and has an estimated value of more than £11bn. Currently, a high proportion of London’s primary care estate – including GP surgeries and family health clinics - is in poor condition, with 13 per cent requiring rebuilding and 51 per cent in need of refurbishment. The announcement means that money from the sale of NHS-owned assets will be available for primary and community care and wider public services in the capital. The release of unused land will also create the opportunity to develop more housing.

A London Estates Board will bring together London and national partners to support the release of capital from surplus NHS estate and land to be reinvested in the city’s health and care system. This new way of working will speed up decision-making and ensure improvements happen much faster than the current five to 10-year average time to develop NHS estates. Over the past two years, pilot projects across five areas in the capital have been exploring innovative ways of working across London’s large and complex health and care system – developing better and more efficient services that meet the needs of Londoners. Through their work, London has secured a number of powers which will help streamline care, improve services and drive prevention to the heart of local communities.