The agreement for health and care devolution in London is due to be finalised by the end of 2017, according to the chair of the London Health and Care Devolution Programme Board, Will Tuckley.
Speaking at a Policy Forum for London seminar on health and social care in London on 29 September 2017, Tuckley added that the government and the London partners in the devolution programme, which includes all 32 clinical commissioning groups across London, 33 local authorities, the Greater London Authority, NHS England London Region and Public Health England London Region, are currently working on a memorandum of understanding to lay out each of their commitments and define the next steps of the devolution agreement.
Tuckley, who is also chief executive of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, explained to delegates that the primary aim of healthcare devolution in London was to develop better services that met the needs of local communities.
“Health and care devolution aims to unlock barriers and enable transformation plans to move faster and further,” he said.
However, he added that “significant improvements could be made by [organisations] working better together in London”.
“Devolution is dependent on this,” he said.
The initial agreement for health and care devolution in London was agreed in December 2015 and since then there have been five pilots across the London boroughs to test how greater collaboration, integration and devolution will work in practice.
According to Tuckley, unlike devolution in Manchester, plans in London will focus on prevention, in particular childhood obesity, mental ill-health and health inequalities, which, he said, are all “key challenges in London”.