London sets out to become the world's healthiest major global city

19 March 2015

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, NHS England, Public Health England, London Councils and the 32 GP-led clinical commissioning groups have come together to outline how, individually and collaboratively, they will work towards London becoming the world's healthiest major city.

The new partnership has been established in response to the challenges set out in the London Health Commission’s Better Health for London report and the NHS Five Year Forward View. The aim is to work together at all levels to make the best use of resources and build on best practice to improve the health and well-being of all Londoners, wherever they live in the capital. The plan is a good basis to explore how London could benefit from more autonomy to improve the future of the capital’s health. 

When compared with other major global cities for well-being, including health and life expectancy, London was ranked 7th out of 14 comparable world cities. A new report published this week outlines 10 aspirations to improve health and well-being in the capital and to help the capital move up the rankings.


Better Health for London: Next Steps sets out shared ambitions and how they will measure progress towards the following shared goals:

• Give all London's children a healthy, happy start to life

• Get London fitter with better food, more exercise and healthier living

• Make work a healthy place to be in London

• Help Londoners to kick unhealthy habits

• Improve care for the most mentally ill in London so they live longer, healthier lives

• Enable Londoners to do more to look after themselves

• Ensure that every Londoner is able to see a GP when they need to and at a time that suits them

• Create the best health and care services of any world city, throughout London and on every day

• Fully engage and involve Londoners in the future health of their city

• Put London at the centre of the global revolution in digital health.


While leadership for improvements in health and wellbeing will need to come from commissioners, providers and professionals across the capital, the organisations and agencies involved in the 'Next Steps' partnership will also collaborate sub-regionally and across London to support change. The London Health Board, which met last week at City Hall, will bring together citywide leadership to unlock progress and champion improvements for Londoners.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'We are embarking on a very exciting journey for health in London. With a growing and ageing population and continued pressure on resources, it is vital that all of us concerned with the health of Londoners work together if we are to ensure the capital becomes the healthiest, fittest big city in the world.'

Councillor Teresa O’Neill, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health, said: “The critical role of local government in shaping health and care services is recognised in both the London Health Commission’s report and the NHS Five Year Forward View. Boroughs are keen to strengthen that role further, and work with all our partners to achieve the aspirations set out in the Next Steps Plan, which builds on both previous pieces of work. Alongside this, we are considering how devolution of powers and funding might help us make even greater progress towards London becoming the world’s healthiest city.”

Anne Rainsberry, Regional Director of NHS England said: 'The aspirations set out in Better Health for London: Next Steps will help put London on the map to becoming the healthiest city in the world.   Collaborative working is well underway at local level with GPs and health care workers, social care and public health teams delivering high quality care.  Working together, we have made huge progress to raise the quality and safety of care, reduce waiting times and improve access to services but there is a lot of work yet to be done.  London is already home to numerous centres of excellence in treatment, research and training and I strongly believe we can build on this even further.'

Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director of Public Health England said: 'We are dedicated to helping all Londoners live long and healthy lives. Better Health for London: Next Steps builds on the work of the London Health Commission to give children the best start in life, to thrive, to remain in good physical and mental health as adults and to grow old with a high quality of life.'

Mark Rowland, Chair of the London-wide Clinical Commissioning Council said: 'CCGs in London, who are responsible for commissioning the majority of the Capital’s healthcare, have played a lead part in the development of these plans and are committed to seeing progress against all of the aspirations set out in Better Health for London. 

'We believe that progress in improving the health of Londoners, and their ability to take a full part in their health care, is vital. Good health is as much about exercise, good diet and reducing the harm caused by smoking and alcohol, as it is about excellent and accessible health services. All 32 London CCGs are looking forward to playing our part in making London the healthiest global city.'


To read Better Health for London: Next Steps please visit:

Notes to editors

1. Download Better Health for London: Next Steps:

2. For information about what the Mayor is already doing to improve health in the capital go to

3. The independent London Health Commission was set up by the Mayor of London in September 2013 and chaired by Lord Ara Darzi. To find out more visit 

4. The London Health Board is a non-statutory group chaired by the Mayor of London comprising elected leaders and key London professional health leads. The Board will drive improvements in London's health, care and health inequalities where political engagement at this level can uniquely make a difference. It will seek ways of giving additional impetus to progress the ambition to make London the healthiest global city. The Board will make the case for investment, power and freedoms to enable the improvement of health and care services and the wider determinants of health in London.  It will consider ways of supporting and accelerating the transformation of health and care services in the capital.  The Board will champion public participation in health and an increase in choice and accountability in health and care services. At its first meeting on 12 March the board agreed childhood obesity, mental health and NHS estates as its initial priorities.