Labour’s Sadiq Khan has promised to provide “real leadership for London’s NHS” if he’s elected Mayor next month.
The City Hall hopeful has used a major speech to attack the previous government’s abolition of NHS London, the strategic health authority which oversaw healthcare in the capital until March 2013.
Many say the resulting reforms, which led to the creation of borough-based clinical commissioning groups, have left London’s health service without the strategic oversight or leadership needed to tackle the capital’s health challenges.
Today Mr Khan echoed those complaints, saying: “London’s health and social care system simply doesn’t have the strategic planning and coordination it needs.”
“So as Mayor – I will fill that vacuum.”
In 2014 a commission set-up by outgoing mayor Boris Johnson and chaired by Labour peer Lord Darzi called for a more joined-up approach to commissioning health services and the creation of a new Health Commissioner.
Some campaigners also want more local control of healthcare spending and better integration of health and social care services and budgets to provide a more holistic approach to public health.
However so far ministers have only agreed to pilot a limited number of schemes across London and have said that further reform or devolution of healthcare would be dependent on such a move not harming healthcare provision in areas outside London.
Londoners will elect a new Mayor and the 25 members of the London Assembly on May 5th. Candidates for Mayor include Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the Green party’s Sian Berry and UKIP’s Peter Whittle.