Policy 3.17 Health and social care facilities



A  The Mayor will support the provision of high quality health and social care appropriate for a growing and changing population, particularly in areas of underprovision or where there are particular needs.

Planning decisions

B  Development proposals which provide high quality health and social care facilities will be supported in areas of identified need, particularly in places easily accessible by public transport, cycling and walking. Where local health services are being changed, the Mayor will expect to see replacement services operational before the facilities they replace are closed, unless there is adequate justification for the change.

C  Relevant development proposals should take into account the Mayor’s Best Practice Guidance on Health Issues in Planning.

LDF preparation

D  In LDFs boroughs should identify and address significant health and social care issues facing their area for example by utilising findings from Joint Strategic Needs Assessments.

E  Boroughs should ensure their public health team work with the local NHS, social care services and community organisations to:

a  regularly assess the need for health and social care facilities at the local and sub-regional levels; and

b  secure sites and buildings for, or to contribute to, future provision.

F  Boroughs should promote the continued role and enhancement of London as a national and international centre of medical excellence and specialised facilities.

Supporting text

3.92  This Policy complements Policies 3.16 on social infrastructure and 3.2 on improving health and tackling health inequalities. Boroughs should refer to all three policies when planning for health and social care facilities.

3.93  London’s health service is vital to maintaining and improving Londoners’ quality of life. Its influence goes far beyond the primary role it plays in delivering health care. It is one of the capital’s major employers, with over 200,000[1] people working in the NHS in London (including general practice staff but excluding agency workers). London’s relatively high housing prices make it hard for frontline staff to afford accommodation in the areas where they work. Policy 3.8 addresses this housing issue.

3.94  The NHS in England has undergone a major restructuring. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 transferred responsibility for commissioning of most healthcare services to consortia of GPs, known as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). A new national body, NHS England, has also been established, with direct responsibility for commissioning non-CCG commissioned services (including primary care, specialist acute services and some public health services). The Act gives boroughs strategic responsibility for promoting joined up local commissioning of health, social care and public health services, through the establishment of statutory health and wellbeing boards (comprising strategic leaders from the local health and care system).  Since April 2013, the planning of new health and care provision is determined by the local commissioning priorities set out in Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs) produced by these new boards. These strategies are in turn informed by Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) of current and future population health and wellbeing needs and demand for services and JHWSs are expected to inform all local commissioning plans, including those of CCGs, and support the integration of health and social care delivery.

3.94A  In April 2013, the Primary Care Trust and Strategic Health Authority estate transferred to NHS Property Services, Community Health Partnerships and NHS community health and hospital trusts. All organisations are looking to make more effective use of the health estate and support strategies to reconfigure healthcare services and improve the quality of care, and ensure that the estate is managed sustainably and contributes to carbon reduction targets. This will result in surplus sites being released for other purposes. In particular, NHS Property Services will be implementing a disposals strategy which will provide opportunities for new homes on surplus sites.

3.95  Demographic trends and national and local policy approaches will partly determine the scale of health and care need in particular locations. New or improved health and social care facilities may be needed as part of large scale commercial and housing developments to address additional demands and should be assessed in accordance with the criteria in paragraph 3.90 and Policy 8.2 on planning obligations. Boroughs may wish to apply the suggested methodology under Policy 3.16 when assessing the needs for healthcare facilities. The needs of older Londoners particularly, in respect of residential and nursing home provision, also need to be considered (see Policy 3.8).

3.95A  JSNAs (paragraph 3.94) are a potentially valuable source of evidence to inform the development and review of local plans, without the need to commission additional or separate studies. JSNAs describe current and future health and care needs of the local community, and may also contain spatial data. They are produced by local health and wellbeing boards, with borough public health teams usually taking the lead, and updated on a regular basis.

3.96  London forms the hub of health-related research and development in the south east of England and is where 25 per cent of UK doctors are trained. It is thus a centre for clinical, training and research excellence. The Mayor’s 2020 Vision identifies a growing cluster of academic health science expertise – a ‘Med City’ that stretches along the Euston Road corridor from Whitechapel to Imperial West at White City. The networks, research and facilities that support London’s role as a centre of medical excellence and specialist facilities, and their enhancements, will be supported.

3.97  Many policies included within this Plan have a part to play in promoting good health and seeking to address inequalities in health.

[1]  http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB10393

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