The challenge, our vision and ambition

South east London faces significant population health challenges, some of which are common to urban locations and some of which are unique to our area.

Whilst there have been some successes in these areas which we should be proud of, the overall picture is still stark. Across our area:

  • there remains a high burden of disease, both physical and mental;
  • 21-45% of premature deaths in our boroughs are attributable to socio-economic inequalities;
  • health inequalities are growing, both between and within boroughs. Parts of Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark rank amongst the 15% most deprived local authorities in the country;
  • Rates of smoking and alcohol-related hospital admissions are higher than the national and London averages.
  • One in five children live in low-income homes;
  • life expectancy improvements have stalled and can vary by up to nine years within a borough between the most and least deprived areas; and
  • quality of care is variable and often does not meet the requirements of the most disadvantaged or those with the greatest need, despite examples of world-leading services and research within our area.

South east London has also been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with evidence that the impact has fallen disproportionately on ethnic minorities. 

On top of this, the current and future economic climate means that finances are likely to be constrained at the same time as healthcare costs are rising, making value based healthcare -  a key goal for our system.

Both nationally and regionally there is increased focus on using a population health approach to tackle inequity and inequality in COVID-19 recovery and restoration plans. This is in addition to existing requirements and opportunities set out within the NHS Long Term Plan, the London Vision, the London Health Inequalities Strategy and recent NHS planning guidance.  

Our vision and ambition

Our vision is that every south east London resident is enabled to live a happy and healthy life in an equitable and equal society.

We want south east London to be a place where your postcode, background or ethnicity will not be a predictor of your future and your health.

Our ambition is that by working together in coalition - including the health and care sector organisations, local authorities, third sector organisations and the south east London community itself - to platform seldom-heard voices, improve access to create change that matters most to local people, and sharing best practice and learning, we will create a positive step-change which will improve population health and equity whilst reducing health inequalities. 

Find out how we’ll do this.