A shared director of public health with a specialist team is set to be appointed for Lambeth and Southwark under innovative plans being developed by both councils to reduce health inequalities amongst local people.
Responsibility for overseeing issues such as teenage pregnancy or reducing obesity will pass to local authorities from the NHS next April. In a progressive and innovative move Lambeth and Southwark are looking to bring their teams together so that they can make a real impact across a wide area of inner London.
Lambeth Council’s cabinet agreed on Monday that there should be a partnership across Lambeth and Southwark around managing Public Health, and as part of this commitment Lambeth has approved the idea of sharing a Director of Public Health (DPH) and a specialist public health team with their neighbouring borough in what is considered to be one of the first of its kind in the capital. Southwark Council will now also consider this proposal at their cabinet meeting on July 17th.
On the basis that it is agreed then the move to a joint approach will move full steam ahead with detailed discussions with the NHS South-East London Cluster to establish the shared DPH and specialist public health team.
Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, said: “This is about developing a strong plan for the future to help people improve their health and tackle some of the major issues that both boroughs are facing. It also makes sense because it keeps management costs down. I am pleased Lambeth is supporting this progressive move and am confident that Southwark will do the same. We will welcome colleagues from the NHS who are moving across to the authority and we are excited about our partnership with Southwark.”
Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “We are pleased to be developing a shared service that will offer a great opportunity to reduce health inequalities in the heart of central London. We will now carefully consider the proposals when our Cabinet meets on 17 July and are also very much looking forward to welcoming health colleagues in to the council.”