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Bureau recommends: London’s healthcare ‘leadership vacuum’

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The Bureau recommends a new report that claims “a leadership vacuum” risks major problems with London’s healthcare.

The report, by the King’s Fund healthcare think tank, finds that London’s NHS is facing significant financial problems and that there is an urgent need to improve the quality of care.

Key concerns include GP performance — London ranked the worst of all regions on 26 of 31 questions in the 2010/11 GP patient survey.

It also finds persistent health inequalities. For example, death rates in Tower Hamlets are nearly 90 per cent higher than in Kensington and Chelsea because of the poor health of the population.

The authors claim their analysis has also shown that concentrating emergency care in fewer hospitals could save up to 500 lives a year in London.

In light of these and other findings, the report demands much greater clarity from the government about who will be responsible for improving Londoners’ health and health care, following the abolition of the strategic health authority.