London Assembly Members have dismissed Sadiq Khan’s flagship health strategy as nothing more than a high-level “vision” document which fails to set out specific action he will take to boost Londoners’ health.
Published for consultation in August, the Mayor’s draft London Health Inequalities Strategy sets out his “ambition” to close the gaps in Londoners’ health and life expectancies.
However the document is light on specifics and in place of detailed steps to achieve improvements, instead asserts broad, general objectives, such as the objective that “Mental health becomes everybody’s business across London,” and an objective that “It is easy for all Londoners to participate in community life”.
In a strongly worded letter to the Mayor, the London Assembly’s Health Committee says this approach amounts to “a vision of what you would like to see, rather than an action plan for how we achieve it.”
While acknowledging his limited powers over healthcare, the letter says there are several areas in Mr Khan’s strategy “where it is not clear what, if any action, you will take beyond encouraging others to act.”
The all-party committee calls on Mr Khan to produce “a clear delivery plan, with measurable targets and timescales for action, and a clear set of indicators against which success will be monitored” no later than January 1st “to ensure that these plans can be scrutinised in advance of the production of the final strategy.”
Without this, the letter warns the “Assembly will not be able to give informed consideration to the proposals nor agree that we have a proper strategy for tackling London’s profound and widespread health inequalities.”
Should they remain unhappy with the Mayor’s final strategy, Assembly Members have the power to reject it, a move which would force him to rework the document and hold a further consultation.