Mayor’s response to London Health Commission

The Mayor of London has published his response to the London Health Commission's report 'Better Health for London', including a £250,000 commitment for the London Healthy Workplace Charter.

Chaired by Lord Ara Darzi, the independent Commission set up by the Mayor in September 2013, was tasked with investigating ways to improve London's health and healthcare. The result - 'Better Health for London' - proposed over 60 recommendations and ten ambitions for the capital covering issues such as improving children's health, encouraging healthier lifestyles and making London's healthcare services work better for Londoners.

Improving the health of London's workforce is among the ambitions outlined in the report and the Mayor announced a £250,000 boost for the London Healthy Workplace Charter, which works with employers across the capital to encourage staff to be more active and take healthier lifestyle choices. Almost 14 million working days a year are lost to sickness absence in London with research showing that an average London firm of 250 employees can lose almost £5,000 a week due to sickness absence. Physically active workers take 27 per cent fewer sick days than non-physically active counterparts so improving health and wellbeing of staff not only saves money by reducing levels of absence, but can also boost economic output.

The extra cash announced today will be used to engage over 1,000 London-based employers over the next two years who will join the 44 organisations, employing almost 140,000 people that are already signed up the Charter.

As part of his response the Mayor also accepted a recommendation to 'personally chair a group and prepare a unified delivery plan' for the report by continuing to act as chair for a refocused London Health Board which will oversee delivery of the report's aspirations. The Board, a partnership between London's boroughs, the NHS and the Mayor of London will now focus on progressing improvements in London's health, health inequalities and making the case for the investment London needs in health and care services and the wider determinants of health.