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High profile panel calls for London health commissioner

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A health commissioner post should be created in London to coordinate the work of councils, clinical commissioning groups and the NHS, a panel of health experts headed by former health minister Lord Darzi is due to suggest.

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The London Health Commission will also call for a five-year investment plan to invest £1bn in the capital’s GP practices, a large number of which require rebuilding or refurbishment, LGC’s sister title HSJ understands.

Lord Darzi is expected to recommend that the health commissioner be appointed by mayor Boris Johnson, to whom the postholder will directly report.

The commissioner would encourage closer working between local councils, CCGs, Public Health England and NHS England.

His report will suggest that GP practices form networks and call for more rigorous care standards to be set and enforced across primary care.

It will also propose a significant increase on charges imposed on derelict hospital in a bid to force trusts to use their estates for patient care or allow them to be used for housing.

The commission is understood to be concerned that NHS facilities funded through private finance initiatives are underused.

Hospitals should be allowed to use part of their land to build affordable housing for their staff and other key workers, it will suggest.

Panel members on the commission include Anne Rainsberry, NHS England’ regional director for London, Ron Kerr, chief executive of Guy’s and St Thomas Foundation Trust, and Matthew Patrick, chief executive of South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust.

The commission heard from experts across the health sector, as well as 15,000 Londoners before putting together its recommendations.

 

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